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Top 5 Travel Destinations For 2018

Top 5 Travel Destinations For 2018

With 2018 approaching fast, it is time to start planning for new things, setting newer goals and objectives and of course, enriching your travel bucket. The craze for travelling and exploring unseen, offbeat places has been rising and if you are a passionate traveller and a nomad inside, you must start planning some amazing trips in the coming year.

So, here is a list of the top 5 new and remarkable travel destinations that are worth paying a visit in 2018.

1. Alaska, USA – For any traveller with an urge for adventure, Alaska is a must-visit place, offering a combination of so many things together. The best time to visit Alaska is during the summer when you cannot just behold but also have fun in the lap of the snow-laden mountains. Also, you can spot grizzles, bald eagles, humpback whales and glacier-studded fjords, each of which can leave you awestruck at their beauty.

Unlike before, the place has become much more accessible today because of the increased flight links to the North American and European cities. Small and big cruise companies are also introducing larger ships and expanding the capacity to help more travellers reach this dream-like destination.

2. The Kii Peninsula, Japan – The number of travellers to Japan has increased since the last few years and the Kii Peninsula is certainly one of Japan’s major attractions that are a must-visit in your lifetime. The Peninsula dips down into the Pacific Ocean and has some excellent Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples.

The place, which is rather far from the maddening crowd and pretty hassle-free, promises a blend of sublime, traditional culture and modern convenience. The Kii Peninsula should be one among the top places in your 2018 travel bucket.

3. Lahaul & Spiti in India – The massive and enigmatic Himalayan range in India brings several hill stations and rugged mountain areas for travellers but Lahaul and Spiti stands out among all of them. These valleys run east and west from Keylong and the ochre badlands of Spiti is said to be the home to some of the rarely visited Buddhist Temples with signs of spectacular art and architecture.

For all adventure seekers out there, Lahaul has a back route to Kashmir, which is considered to be one of the most dangerous roads in the world. The entire place is breathtakingly beautiful and lacks the hype that Ladakh enjoys.

4. The Aeolian Islands in Italy – For travellers looking for a place to relax and simply soak in the beauty of the scenery around, the Aeolian Islands with their seven sisters is paradise in the true sense. The geology that shapes them peculiarly is also what makes them so sublime.

You will find some amazing seascapes, volcanic slopes, black-sand beaches and of course, some of the best coastal walks and drives in the whole of Europe. Visit the Aeolian Islands in 2018 before it starts luring more visitors and getting crowded thereby.

5. The Julian Alps in Slovenia – Overlooked for a long time and opening up for visitors only recently, the Julian Alps can offer you with a blissful time by virtue of its natural appeal. More than 2/3rd of the region is protected by the Triglav National Park mandate, which has been a major reason behind the slow improvement of the infrastructure and somewhat curbed development along the summits.

Recently, a few local run operators are setting up homestays in stylish shepherd digs for travellers to stay in comfort.

Book your tickets to these wondrous places and get set with your backpack to create memories in the New Year 2018.

Top 4 News Stories from 2017

Australia to ban climbing on Uluru as from 2019

As from October 2019, no one will be allowed to climb Uluru, Australia’s famous landmark. Due to indigenous sensitivity issues, the climb was ended by a unanimous vote by the board of the Uluru-Tjuta National Park. Referred to for many years as Ayer’s Rock, the massive red monolith is a sacred site to the Aboriginal people. Locals have been asking for a long time, that visitors not climb the world-famous landmark and there are signs placed at the start of the climb, requesting people to not continue out of respect for the traditional laws of the custodians of the land, the Anangu Aboriginal people.

Uluru, a listed UNESCO World Heritage site, was given back to its traditional owner’s way back in 1985. The climbing ban will begin on October 26, 2019 – 34 years after the official handover.

Nuclear power plants to be built by Russia in Nigeria

Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, in an attempt to put an end to its energy crisis, has signed a deal giving Russia the go-ahead to build two power plants in the country. Sources at the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission said in an interview with the BBC, that Rosatom, a Russian state-owned company, will erect one power plant in the south of the country and another in the center.

Nigeria is hoping that the plants, which at first will be run by Rosatom prior to being handed over, will help to ease the energy deficit in the country. More than 40 percent of Nigeria was without electricity in 2014, according to World Bank figures. Despite being one of the largest oil producers in Africa, much of the country’s oil wealth has been squandered over the years. Rife with corruption at all levels has made the country broke and able to produce only a fraction of the energy needed by its 180 million citizens.

“Despicable” fraud in England costs the NHS £1 billion per year

According to Sue Frith,chief executive of the NHS Counter Fraud Agency, more is going to be done to protect England’s NHS from “despicable” acts of fraud. She promised a clampdown after releasing figures that suggested the annual bill for fraud in the NHS to be in the region of £1 billion.

The analysis carried out by her team recorded that an estimated amount of £1.25bn each year, is being committed by staff, contractors and patients, a figure that represents around 1 percent of the total NHS budget.

The two biggest areas of fraud were related to procurement of goods and services and patients, both of which will more than likely cost the NHS more than £200m each year.

Germany to pay clients for electricity usage due to renewable energy creating an enormous power surplus

Power producers in Germany are on the verge of paying clients to use electricity over the weekend. Wind generation climbed to a record high on Sunday which created more output than required, driving prices for electricity to below zero, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It would be the first time in the past year that the average price for an entire day shows negative instead of just specific hours.

With these negative prices, electricity producers will either have to shut down power stations to reduce electricity supply, or pay their customers to use electricity.

Germany had the renewable energy industry reeling in shock earlier this year, by giving contracts to developers who were prepared to erect offshore farms without a subsidy.

Top 5 Tips For Staying Safe When You Travel

Traveling is certainly one of the most exciting things we do in life. It expands our horizon and makes us see things from a different viewpoint. While traveling has several benefits besides having fun with family or friends, being careless while on vacation can lead to some really bad experiences.

Following are the top 5 tips for staying safe when you travel, to help you have a fulfilling and happy vacation

1. Have Thorough Medical Check-up – in our enthusiasm for planning on the places we will be visiting, or the new cuisines we will be experiencing, we tend to ignore the importance of having a medical checkup before leaving on our vacation. Before you leave, see your doctor and have a thorough medical exam to make sure that you’re in good health during your stay in a foreign country.

It is also important to remember that some countries require you to have certain vaccinations prior to your arrival, as failure to do so will result in you being denied entrance into the country.

2. Keep an Electronic Record of All Your Documents – carrying all your documents safely is essential if you want your travels to go smoothly. While it is important that you have the originals to produce when necessary in the country you are traveling to, it is also a good idea to keep an electronic copy of them too, such as your passport, flight tickets, travel insurance and so forth, in case you lose the originals at some point.

3. Avoid Showing-Off or being “Flashy” – traveling is not the time to flaunt your expensive pieces of jewelry or wear flashy clothes. Dress to fit in with the crowds instead, so that you won’t be exposing yourself to would-be muggers or pickpockets. Men should keep their wallets in an inside pocket and ladies should use a bag that they can hang over a shoulder and tuck under an arm, to prevent it from being snatched. If you stop at a restaurant, make sure to keep any bags and backpacks where you can see them all the time.

4. Make friends with the locals – while some people prefer doing their own thing during their vacation, making an effort to get along with the locals can go a long way to make your stay a much better and safer experience. Be friendly towards them and they will treat you the same. Another benefit of getting along with the local people where you are staying is the safety aspect – the new friends you make will help you if you are being threatened in any way.

5. Maintain a Schedule – by sticking to the routine you’ve set yourself for the day, you will avoid wasting a lot of precious time and possibly getting yourself into trouble. Go to the places you’ve planned on visiting, take breaks when you’re supposed to and make sure to be back at your place of accommodation before the sun goes down. The area you’re visiting might seem a pleasant, tourist-friendly place during the day, but could be extremely unsafe at night.

The whole idea of going on vacation is to take a break from the daily grind, experience new and exciting things, meet new people and come home feeling happy and rejuvenated. Use these top 5 tips for staying safe when you travel and your vacation will be all you expect it to be, and more.

5 Money Saving Tips to Increase your Finances

Saving money on a daily basis is often many people’s New Year’s resolution, and for good reason! With permanently rising living costs in most parts of the country, many feel that they have to make cuts in many aspects of life.

This can be a daunting thought and it can be difficult to figure out where to start. There are some efficient ways, however, to save money without feeling deprived, the most common of which are explained below.

1. Plan your grocery shopping carefully
A big part of our monthly income is spent on foods and drinks. And this is also where we can save a lot! For a week or two, pay very close attention to how much from your shopping is really consumed and to how much actually ends up in the bin as leftovers or out-of-date produce. Once you are aware of what is really needed, you can plan your shopping accordingly.

Do not buy more just because it is on offer, as the total amount you spend will just increase. With the products you are definitely going to buy, it is worth comparing brands and go for the cheaper ones, that often have the same quality as the more advertised brands.

2. DIY
When something around the house breaks down, the easiest way is to call someone to fix it, which of course is reasonable in many cases where someone professional is indispensable. But in other cases, it might be worth to give it a try yourself. Do the walls need painting? Does some new furniture need to be put up?

These things often can be turned into fun activities with family or friends. The same goes for preparing meals instead of eating out or ordering food. Not only can you safe a lot of money here, but you can also gain or improve your skills and maybe discover a hidden passion.

3. Watch the electricity
A lot of money can be saved on electricity if you switch things off that are not needed at a given time. Avoid stand-by mode on your electric appliances and make sure the lights are off in empty rooms. Electricity can be saved on many ends. Simple changes include not charging your cellphone over night, as they normally are fully charged after a lot less time than your sleeping hours or not leaving the charging cable plugged in when the phone is not charging, as this will only waste energy.

Another good way to reduce your electricity costs is to get multiple-cavity connectors with an on/off switch as well as energy saving bulbs around the house.

4. Compare the market
When it comes to providers of any kind, competition on the open market is high. And this is good news for you, the consumer. There are numerous websites where you can find the currently cheapest provider for electricity, water, broadband, etc. And it is worth to check regularly and change providers whenever your contracts are about to end.

Many providers offer impressive bonuses for new customers so if you pay attention to when your contracts end, you can avoid getting trapped into an automatically renewed contract that will cost you considerably more and at the same time enjoy the advantages of being a new customer by switching to whichever provider offers the lowest rate at the time of your switch.

5. Actively look for voucher codes
When you buy or order something online you will often see a field where you can put in a voucher code. Most people don’t give this much attention, thinking only people who were actually given vouchers by someone can put one in. But you might be surprised. The next time you are given the opportunity to apply a voucher code, just go on your preferred search engine and type in “voucher” and the website you are about to make a purchase on.

Many websites explicitly gather different types of vouchers that are valid in the current week or month of your search. Look around and try the codes you find and many times you will get a nice discount on your purchase.

5 Easy Home Décor Ideas

After living in your house for a few years, it loses that “new” smell and starts to look worn-out and forgotten. Redecorating every-so-often is important to maintain that level of newness in a home, since it can breathe new life into those older spaces and make them look and feel as good as new. Following are 5 easy home décor ideas to give you some inspiration for redecorating your house.

1. In the kitchen

Put an end to counter confusion in your kitchen. Using decals or paint, create labels on some pretty clear glass containers, then fill them with sugar, tea, coffee, salt and other items that you tend to use often during the day. You will be able to see at a glance what you need to use at any given moment and your countertops will stay uncluttered and tidy. You can always at a later stage, change the wording on the containers if you want to.

2. The entrance hall

Entrance halls are often overlooked when it’s time to redecorate a home. One of the easiest home décor ideas you can use to make your entrance a talking point for anyone visiting your home, is to showcase your collectibles opposite your front door. Paint a set of shelves or a bookcase in the color of your choice and use it to display a collection of your small antique items. This is an easy, yet extremely effective way to show off some of your prized possessions and brighten your otherwise plain entrance hall.

3. At the dining table

When serving tea to guests at your dining table, use a tray that is very different to any they’ve seen before, especially if you are a lover of all things retro. Collect sufficient bottle caps to cover the bottom of a deep tray and paint them in various autumn colors. Glue the caps side-by-side onto the bottom of the tray and once they are dry, pour some self-levelling acrylic water over them, enough to cover the bottle caps. Leave to stand undisturbed for at least 48 hours before using the tray to serve refreshments to your guests.

4. Use bottles to change the look of a room in seconds!

By simply standing several different colored glasses, vases or bottles on bookshelves or windowsills, you will have created an eye-catching area in any room in your home. This is especially so when they are displayed on sunny windowsills. You can also completely change the look of your home at Christmas time, by filling glass jugs with small Christmas lights. Apart from making attractive, festive-looking table lamps, they also make beautiful centerpieces on your dining table where you will be enjoying your Christmas feast.

5. In the children’s room

Changing the décor in your child’s room can be a lot of fun, while at the same time, recycling his/her baby crib. Remove one side of the crib and using spare wood, build a frame above the crib to make it look like a house. Painted in bright and cheerful colors, what once before was a baby crib, will now become a bed that your toddler will simply love. As a bonus, your toddler can use the bed as a playhouse during the day.

These 5 easy home décor ideas will not only give you the inspiration you need to change those parts of your home that need redecorating, but will trigger other ideas of your own too, to make your house what it should be – an attractive, comfortable home for you and your family.

5 Best Workouts For Hard Abs

We all want to look and feel our best, and this is something we must work for. Most people will tell you that their ideal body includes flat abs, or even a six pack. But how do they obtain this perfect body? The answer is quite simple: by working out and eating healthy.

In this article, we will talk about the 5 best workouts for those rock hard abs you’ve always wanted. If you maintain a healthy diet and do these exercises regularly, it won’t be long before you will start to notice the changes in your body.

Bicycle Crunches

This popular and easy exercise is sure to work out your core and obliques, sculpting and shaping them. Although it looks simple enough, it is a very good workout and will leave your abs feeling the burn.

Here is how to do it:

● Begin in a basic crunch position.

● Extend one leg and bring the opposite knee up towards your chest

● At the same time, twist your torso to bring your opposite elbow towards your bent knee.

● Alternate legs and elbows while keeping your shoulders lifted off the ground.

Flutter Kicks

When doing flutter kicks, your whole core is engaged, including your lower abdomen which can be difficult to work out sometimes. This is a great exercise for that stubborn lower belly pooch that some of us have.

Follow these simple steps and watch that belly pooch disappear in no time:

● Begin lying flat on your back with your hands behind your head.

● Lift both legs just a couple of inches off the ground.

● Then, raise one leg high into the air while keeping the other one extended out in front, but off of the ground.

● Alternate legs, but do not let them touch the ground when you bring one down.

V-Ups

This exercise really packs a punch. It will get those abs working hard and you will definitely feel them the next day (in a good way). This is another great workout for your lower abs, as well as your lower back muscles, your obliques, and your entire core. Some people use a medicine ball or a weight with this exercise also.

In order to do this exercise:

● Start in a lying position with your arms extended over your head.

● Lift your legs and your upper body, forming a V with your body and reaching your hands towards your toes.

● Lie back down and repeat the amount of reps you are going to do.

Spider-man Planks

This variation of the plank is sure to sculpt and tone your entire core. It is not an easy workout, but it is a prime choice, especially if your problem areas are your obliques. This workout targets that area, while strengthening and toning your entire core.

Here is how to execute it:

● Begin in a plank position with your arms extended directly below your shoulders, ensuring that your body is in a straight line.

● Lift one leg out to the side and bend the knee, bringing it up towards the elbow on the same side.

● Return the leg to its starting position and repeat on the other side, alternating legs as you go.

Plank Jacks

Yet another modification to the original plank, this is a great full-body workout. Not only will your abs be working, but so will the rest of your body. It is a simple exercise that will give you the results you want if done regularly.

To do this work out:

● Begin in a plank position (elbow plank or extended arm plank).

● Hop your legs up slightly and open them almost as if doing a jumping jack.

● Repeat this motion, but this time closing your legs.

● Continue to open and close your legs while maintaining the plank position.

Conclusion

By doing these 5 workouts consistently and maintaining a healthy diet, you are sure to get the results you want and the hard abs that you are working for. Never overexert yourself, and be sure to keep within your abilities when doing exercise. And the most important thing is to have fun with it!

The 5 Best iPhone Game Apps

The 5 Best iPhone Game Apps

It has been estimated that over 90 million people in the United States own an iPhone, and that number is expected to continue rising. There are millions of applications that can be downloaded onto an Apple device and a large amount of those are games. So which game apps are the best to download? Here we will take a look at the 5 top game apps for the iPhone.

1. Hearthstone

Based on the world famous World of Warcraft, this collectible card game (CCG) is easy to play and hard to quit. Created by the Blizzard Entertainment Company, it can be played as both single-player and multiplayer and has been described as “addictive”. The object of the game is to collect cards using a selected WoW character with unique powers.

The game consists of matches against opponents with the object of lowering the opponent’s health down to zero. This is done by casting spells and using minions to attack. The game is easily played across devices, making it easy to play in various places. Blizzard reported that there are over 70 million players of Hearthstone from all over the world, and is now a popular eSport with tournaments and cash prizes.

2. Pokemon Go

Pokemon Go is a unique game, combining the virtual world and the real one. Players go “hunting” Pokemon and the game is location-based as the Pokemon can show up anywhere. When the game was first released in 2016, it was a worldwide phenomenon.

The game uses the phone’s GPS and the Pokemon creatures appear on the screen if they are in the same real-world location as the player. Players can capture, train, and use the Pokemon in battles. While the game’s popularity has died down tremendously, it is still a widely played game.

3. Clash of the Clans

For iPhone users that enjoy strategy games, this is one to look into. Players build up their settlements and have to defend them from outside attacks using the army they have built.

They must also attack other clans in order to gain resources and they can also consolidate clans in order to create larger towns with more resources and work together in order to defeat other clans. It is a game of action and strategy, and has received very good ratings.

4. Minecraft

This incredibly popular game, while it is not free, is widely known all across the world. It is another strategy game that involves building structures with 3D cubes, exploring, battling, and obtaining resources. There are four different modes that the player can use:

● Survival mode: player must obtain resources and use them to build their own world

● Adventure mode: player plays different custom maps created by other players

● Creative mode: player can create their own world using unlimited resources

● Spectator mode: player can move throughout the game freely, simply observing

This game was extremely popular when first released, and is still one of the more popular games today.

5. Limbo

Limbo is the tale of a young boy who is traveling through dangerous territory in search of his missing sister. The game does not offer much detail or storyline at all, but there are many obstacles and horrifying surprises along the way.

The graphics are terrifying and its aesthetics mystifying. The creators of the game made it so that the end is not easy to reach and invented gruesome ways in which the boy dies. It is not a game for the faint of heart.

Conclusion

The iPhone offers thousands of game of all genres, making it easy for everyone to find something they enjoy playing. This list includes some of the more popular titles, but there are so many more to be explored.

5 Ways to Improve Your Happiness

Life can be stressful and hard, and at times just overwhelm you with negative events that leave you frustrated and sad. When negative feelings prevail in your life and you find it hard to feel truly content and blissful, it is time for some simple changes in your life.

But even if you think things are going quite smoothly for you, there might always be room for improvement when it comes to your personal happiness. The following tips could come in handy here.

1 Make Time For Your Passion(s)

No matter how stressful your job or how busy your daily life is, you should make some time for your passion(s) every day in order to create some balance. Whatever it is that you personally really enjoy doing, engage in it regularly. When you are really into something, it will make you forget about everything else for at least the time of actively doing it.

If you engage in it before whichever chores are awaiting you, you will face those in a more relaxed and more positive way. On the other hand, if you are planning to engage in your hobby after the unpleasant duties, you permanently have something to look forward to.

2 Find Your Strength And Use It

Think about what you are really good at. Even if it is not your favorite activity, accomplishing something with success will fill you with a pleasant sense of pride and satisfaction. Find your niche, something you are really good at, do it for yourself and for others and you will earn plenty of esteem signals, which in turn will increase your self-esteem and therefore make you happier all-over.

Human beings are social creatures and constantly seek approval, be it consciously or subconsciously. Everyone knows how good it feels to be praised for an achievement.

3. Help Others

Even though it is called “self-esteem”, it is the people around us who make us gain it. Helping others will make you happy and raise your self-esteem, because you will be rewarded with genuine gratitude and appreciation. And in turn, the people you have helped will very likely offer their help to you if ever you need it.

Knowing that there will be someone there for you when things turn against you in whatever way, can take many of your worries away and make you stronger when taking decisions in life.

4. Avoid Unrealistic Expectations

We often have unrealistic expectations, be it about uncontrollable life events or other people around us. As a result, we often end up disappointed and frustrated, which are two feelings that are very hard to overcome once they have come over us. Naturally, disappointment can’t always be avoided, but if you lower your expectations on certain things in life, like other people’s promises or even trivial things like a trip to a highly praised restaurant, the chances of getting disappointed decrease significantly.

And when the good thing that you did not count on then occurs, you will feel an even deeper sense of happiness than you would have otherwise.

5. Stay Positive About Everything

Try to find something positive in whatever life throws at you. Everyone is allowed to give in to sadness and grief when bad things happen in life, but we must never let it consume us and make us give up all our hope for a better future. When you find yourself in your bleakest moments, try to get some distance.

Think about a distant future in which this negative situation will be way back in your past, because deep down you know that time heals all the wounds. Cling on to that and imagine all the nice things you are going to experience in your personal future, even if you can only think of very small things, but sometimes those are the most important.

5 DIY Ideas for Your Home

5 DIY Ideas for Your Home

There is nothing more satisfying than completing a DIY project successfully and even more so, when visitors to your home ask where you purchased the item. You can use your DIY skills to entertain, organize and decorate with style, without having to spend a lot of money. We have included in this article, 5 DIY ideas for your home to help you get started.

1. Chandelier planter

The exterior of your home is just as important as its interior when it comes to home décor, since the outside of your house is the first thing that people see when they visit. Create a good impression with visitors with a stunning chandelier planter, that you can make from an old chandelier purchased from a thrift shop. Remove any leftover electrical wiring and paint the chandelier the color of your choice. When the paint is dry, place small potted plants in each of the chandelier’s arms and hang from a hook on your patio.

2. Pallet garden organizer

Garden tools left lying around can make the most beautiful of gardens look messy, but instead of buying an expensive storage system, you can make a sturdy, fully-functional garden organizer from a cheap and simple wooden pallet. Give the pallet a few coats of stain, add some strategically-placed hooks, and you have an organizer to hang on a wall for all your garden tools as well as your coiled hose. Attach a painted hanging pot to your pallet and you also have perfect storage for rags and your garden gloves.

3. Use decoupage to transform a table

Don’t throw out that old hand-me-down side table. Instead, give it a complete makeover with decoupage. Give the table two coats of metallic paint, let dry and then add a coat of metallic glaze to give the table an extra shimmer. When the glaze is dry, cut a scrap piece of wallpaper to fit the top of the table. Give the table a coat of decoupage glue, position the paper and press it down. Cover the table top with several further coats of decoupage glue, letting each coat dry before applying the next one. Finish off with a coat of spray sealant.

4. Make a butterfly jewelry display

Use butterfly brooches from your jewelry box, or buy a variety of cheap ones from thrift shops, car boot or garage sales and create a pseudo-scientific display to hang on a wall in your home. Use a water-thinned dark umber shade to paint a gesso-finish artist’s canvas, and then rub it off. Attach your collection of butterfly brooches to the canvas and outline their wingspans with a graphite pencil. Your butterflies will not only look colorful, but will also appear to be taking flight on the beautiful wall art you’ve created.

5. Suitcase storage table

If you have one or two spare suitcases that you don’t use, then why not change them into extra storage space? Clean the suitcases and varnish or paint them to fit in with the color scheme of the room and attach appropriate table legs to each corner of the suitcases to allow them to stand like tables, the table top being the suitcase itself. Apart from adding a bit of retro flair to a room, you have just transformed empty suitcases into very clever storage space for keeping books or storing bed linen at the foot of a bed.