Category Archives: Travel and Sports Advice

Kepler Track Pack List for the Summer Months

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New Zealand’s trails and national parks are renowned for their pristine condition and rich and varied wildlife. Part of the reason why they are in such good condition, despite the thousands of visitors they receive each year, is due to the strict restrictions they place on hikers entering the parks.

For the Kepler Track in particular, all rubbish and items brought into the park must be carried out by hikers (no garbage bins or tips are provided), and there are no stores available in the park to buy food or any hiking supplies. With this in mind, check out the pack list for hiking the Kepler Track in the summer months (approx. January to March) below! Continue reading

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Avoid These Pitfalls When Drafting your Perfect New Zealand Itinerary

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It is easy to see why New Zealand always features on the lists of must-see travel destinations year-in, year-out with travel publications. There are a range of activities to suit every taste, the people are friendly and helpful, the scenery is stunning, the food and drink is sublime – the list goes on. However, New Zealand is also a remote destination and can easily take over 24 hours to reach by plane for many. In addition to this, its lack of extensive public transport and relative expense for some products can make it an expensive country to travel around.

These obstacles needn’t get in the way of your dream trip to New Zealand however; with some careful planning and realistic understanding of your budget, you can easily create a dream New Zealand itinerary!

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Why You Should Give Cycling a Try – with Cycle Republic

I think it would be fair to say that the UK is a nation of cycling enthusiasts, of sorts. In between our success in the male and female cycling divisions at the Olympics to our strong presence in the Tour de France, we have a constant drip of cycling inspiration to spur us to give it a try. And judging from the countryside roads that are chock a block with both cars and weekend riders, to parks and nature reserves heaving with families on their own cycling jaunts, even the queues of cyclists on the cycle superhighways in London, many of us have taken up the sport with full zest.

For other people though, cycling simply stops at the screen and news reports.  

To understand what makes people take up cycling in the first place, and offer my own experiences in cycling, I have teamed up with Cycle Republic, who sponsored this post. Continue reading

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Tips for Having the Best Hogmanay in Edinburgh

Hogmanay is one of Edinburgh’s biggest celebrations of the year. For three straight days Scotland’s capital turns into one giant stage with raucous street parties, music, cultural festivities, not to mention a couple quirky traditions thrown in for good measure.

Having attended this year, take a look at the following tips and recommendations to help you make the most of your Hogmanay trip.

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Beginner’s Essential Equipment for Climbing and Bouldering

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With the days getting darker and winter setting in, now is the perfect opportunity to learn to climb or boulder. Indoor climbing gyms offer the perfect opportunity to nail basic techniques and gain confidence – just in time for the advent of outdoor climbing in the spring.

Before hitting the crags though, there’s just a few things every climber needs to get started. Take a look below to make a start on your climber’s kit. Continue reading

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Fitness Apps to Make Exercise Fun

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If you’re anything like me, you tend to get into an exercise rut. Trying to organise your schedule around work, family and social commitments often ends in you treading the same running routes, or doing the same series of weights, movements, etc. You name it, you’ve done it a hundred times.

To be fair, it is not necessarily bad if you’re doing the route faster or more efficiently, but your body needs to be pushed to get results and increase fitness, and over time completing the same routes over and over will offer diminishing returns, particularly if you are training for a particular event or race.

To help you get out of your exercise rut, here’s some flashy new apps that will make you forget you’re exercising. Continue reading

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Tips to Remember for Beginner Snowboarders

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Prior to my week snowboarding in Belle Plagne, I had never been snowboarding before, and wasn’t sure what to expect. After asking various snowboarding friends, checking websites and speaking with store staff and imparting me with loads of information, I found myself discovering even more tips and tricks along the way. Listed below are some of the top pieces of advice I collated about learning to snowboard – feel free to post your own tips in the comments below!

  1. Make sure you are given the correct type of board. It should come up to your chin, and the bindings should be shoulder-width apart. After spending hours in the squat position, you will begin to appreciate how much difference a couple of inches makes when it comes to binding spacing!
  2. Bring painkillers. It’s true what they say: snowboarding is more difficult to learn at first, but easier to improve! When you first learn snowboarding, you will fall a lot, as it seems every technical skill goes against your mind’s instincts. Expect lots of bruises on your knees and tailbone! Which brings me to my next point….
  3. Don’t be afraid to fall. Falling repeatedly means you are continuously pushing yourself and improving, which means you are one step closer to nailing those impressive jumps and flips!
  4. Save yourself the time, money and bruises and take lessons at a snowboard school. Resorts almost always offer lessons, and are cheaper if you book in advance. Learning the basics early will stop you forming bead habits that will be more difficult to break as your progress.
  5. Keep your body relaxed. Easier said than done when you’re hurtling yourself down a mountain at high speed, but the more tense your body gets, the more difficult you will find it to make turns and more likely you are to fall over.
  6. Make sure you maintain good posture; keep your knees partially bent, your back straight, and your weight in the middle of the board. Bend too much and your weight will be unevenly distributed; stand too straight, and stiff, and you’ll find turns impossible.
  7. Invest in good gloves! For boarders hitting the slopes in the middle of the season, a good pair of gloves is essential. Not only will it stop you getting chilblains, but it will make adjusting your bindings off and on the ski lift much quicker and more manageable.
  8. Guide the board with your eyes: Wait, what?! I hear you say, but here me out. One of the (many) quirks in snowboarding is that if you turn your head to look at the direction you want to go, your board will follow. That is because your board can pick up on the smallest changes to your posture and weight, and so when you move your head, you move your chest, legs, and finally your board.

Most important to remember though, is to not take yourself too seriously, and to have fun! For more information on gear and a rundown of snowboarding essentials, check out Travelettes’ Guide for Beginner Snowboarders.

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Champing is a thing now and you should definitely try it

For the past few weeks you might have heard whisperings of a strange new phenomenon on the internet. Mentions of #champing hashtags on Twitter, random pictures on Facebook, and arguments on various newspaper websites as to whether ‘champing’ is just another term for ‘glamping’ have gradually popped up. If you aren’t curious or excited about it you probably should, because it is a great and inexpensive idea that helps promote the outdoors and heritage at once. Continue reading

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BUPA 10000 London Review

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This past weekend my friend Anya and I decided to spend our bank holiday Monday running the BUPA 10k for Save the Children instead of sleeping in, having a BBQ and knocking back a few drinks. While you might doubt our decision-making, the BUPA 10000 turned out to be a great event filled with a fun atmosphere, a beautiful route past London’s great architecture and lots of entertainment for runners and spectators alike.

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How to Really Help Nepal

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With the endless images of collapsed buildings, reports of lost heritage sites and the varying statistics and numbers of lives lost, injured or missing, it can be difficult to compute, and easy to feel unable to help those in Nepal from thousands of miles away. And with the various aftershocks hitting the country, it looks like things are only going to get worse before they get better. Continue reading

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