Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Wildlife Holiday Photography Tips: itravelnet.com Travel Blog plus 6 more

Wildlife Holiday Photography Tips: itravelnet.com Travel Blog plus 6 more

Link to itravelnet.com Travel Blog

Wildlife Holiday Photography Tips

Posted: 11 Feb 2013 09:46 PM PST

There is nothing like taking photographs of the natural wildlife while on holiday to create a memorable souvenir of the trip. Wildlife in its natural habitat can be remarkable, but it can also be difficult to capture in a photograph. If you have an interest in photography during your Borneo holidays or Tanzania safari, here are some wildlife holiday photography tips that can help you get some great shots.

Galapagos Sea lion

Take a Guided Wildlife Tour

Many holiday destinations have specially crafted wildlife tours for the tourists visiting their area. For Borneo holidays, there may be a tour available that travels deep into the rainforest to seek out wildlife that others rarely get to see. A guided tour for your Tanzania safari can help you get to great places to see action in real life, not animals asleep under trees. If you are taking Galapagos holidays, your guided tour should probably be conducted by boat with a guide that can easily navigate around the islands. When booking your Galapagos holidays, ask the representative assisting you whether they can recommend a guided wildlife tour that has received good reviews from previous tourists.

Galapagos Iguana

Take the Right Photography Equipment

Different holiday destinations will require different types of equipment on your camera to get great shots. For example, for Borneo holidays, many of the animals you are seeking are in the trees or darting into the foliage so a high zoom capability is important to capture the animals without scaring them away. For a Tanzania safari, a camera that is good at taking action shots would be great for photographing wildlife performing their natural actions. For Galapagos holidays, you may want to consider a camera that can take pictures underwater since there is some beautiful wildlife located beneath the waves.

Tanzania Leopard

Be Patient

One of the hardest things about wildlife photography is being patient enough to capture great shots. Great shots are normally captured during the most active time for the wildlife you are seeking. Animals do not adhere to the same schedules as humans, so it will take some careful manoeuvring to get you and the animals into the same place at the same time. Once the wildlife is in your sights, take your photographs quickly because they could be gone in a flash. Use multi-shot as this way, you are unlikely to miss a shot even when an animal does move.

Tanzania Giraffes

Edit Your Photographs

Photography software programs have made it very easy for anyone to edit their photographs within a matter of minutes. The photographs that you have taken can be re-sized, cropped, or re-centred and the tone can be changed to bring out the colours or the features of the photograph. Once your wildlife photos have been edited with a photography software program, they may well look like they have been taken by a professional photographer! Don't forget to share them with your friends on Facebook, Twitter and even Instagram.

Tanzania Elephant

Wildlife Holiday Photography Tips from itravelnet.com - Travel Directory

Visiting The Farne Islands

Posted: 11 Feb 2013 06:30 PM PST

The Farne Islands are a cluster of small outcrops and islands rising out of the North Sea off the coast of Northumberland. Some are so small that when the tide is high they do not appear above the waves, meaning that the total number of islands varies between 15 and 20 depending on the water level. The islands are roughly divided in two – the Inner and Outer Groups. The two groups are separated by Staple Sound and some of the islands are actually connected when the tide is low enough. The highest point can be found on Inner Farne where it reaches around 19 metres above the average sea level. The islands have a remote feel which makes them ideal for anyone who wants to escape the bustle of modern life, even if only for a few hours.

The Farne Islands are easily accessible for visitors, despite their small size and scattered and fairly isolated location. The nearby mainland town of Seahouses is a popular tourist spot with good road and public transport links. It also has many quaint winding streets and plenty of pubs, cafes and restaurants where both traditional Northumbrian and more exotic, fare can be found. Seahouses is also the main base for boat trips out to the islands and plenty of information about the Farnes can be found there. The most spectacular views of the Farnes from the mainland and those most favoured by photographers, are offered from the harbour at Seahouses as well as northward along the coast and from the iconic Bamburgh Castle. They look especially dramatic rising above the crashing waves.

There is plenty to do on the Farne Islands and their location and landscape make them ideal for visitors, especially families, who are looking for a bit more adventure than the conventional holiday usually provides. Most importantly, perhaps, the islands are a very important site for ecology and are one of the most significant protected wildlife habitats in the UK. It is a real birdwatcher’s paradise due to the vast colonies of diverse seabirds that call the islands home; some of which you can see in very few other places in the UK. The wildlife on the Farnes is by no means restricted just to birds, there are also many rabbits as well as a sizeable colony of playful grey seals, who add new pups every autumn. The excellent ecosystem of the Farnes is protected by the National Trust, with bird wardens stationed there for some of the year – the only residents that the islands have. Boats can drop visitors at three of the islands in the group (the others are off-limits to protect the wildlife) and while exploring there is a chance to see many interesting species, including the colourful puffin and the feisty Arctic tern.

Other adventurous visitors to the area will be enticed by the unique diving opportunities offered by the waters around the islands. There are a variety of sites available, suitable for all levels of divers and the excellent range of natural shelter means that diving is possible regardless of the wind direction. There are many highlights for divers around the Farnes, including the ability to swim underwater with the grey seals, to watch guillemots diving and fishing and to explore a number of early 20th Century steamship wrecks in the area. The islands also have much history, including a series of now-defunct lighthouses, a 15th Century chapel and the enthralling story of British heroine Grace Darling, a lighthouse-keeper’s daughter who helped to rescue passengers from a stricken ship, the Forfarshire in 1838.

Overall, the Farne Islands have plenty to offer to all visitors, including adventurous families, birdwatchers and history enthusiasts. There is also a wide range of accommodation available on the mainland for those who wish to get the most out of the Farne Islands, including a number of well-equipped Park Resorts holiday sites that are dotted along the Northumberland coastline.

Visiting The Farne Islands from itravelnet.com - Travel Directory

A taste of…South East Asia

Posted: 11 Feb 2013 06:26 PM PST

Famous for its friendly people, historical significance, and gorgeous landscapes, South East Asia is quickly gaining ground as a popular tourist destination for discriminating global travellers. The region has so many fascinating countries to explore that it would truly take a lifetime to thoroughly get acquainted with each one. Visitors to Bali, Borneo, and Vietnam gain a snapshot view of the beauty and cultural depth of South East Asia. 

Beachcombing Bali
The Indonesian island of Bali features some of the world’s most acclaimed beaches. Many of the popular activities for the country’s visitors centre on these lovely stretches of coastline. Besides its incomparable sandy shores, the ocean currents surrounding the island offer suitable playgrounds for a variety of water sport activities while on Bali holidays

Bali Sunset palms

Not everything in life is black and white; the exception is Nammos Kandara Beach in Ungasan and Lovina Beach in northern Bali. The resplendent Nammos Kandara beach with its pure white sandy shores is hidden away among the island’s cliffs at its southern most point. The Nammos Kandara’s waves are sufficiently challenging for skilled surfers during high tide, and snorkelers wait for low tide to enjoy calmer waters for leisurely swimming while on Bali holidays. 

The volcanic nature of Bali has produced black sand beaches like those of Lovina Beach. This uncrowded beach is one of Bali’s obscure coastal gems that is sure to please beach enthusiasts on Bali holidays. Its calm azure waters provide an ideal spot for swimming and snorkelling throughout the day. Lovina remains relatively untouched by the industrial tourism industry, and its rare black sand contrasted by the striking blue waters of the Indian Ocean is memorably picturesque.

Borneo’s Eco-Paradise
Brunei, Indonesia, and Malaysia share the island of Borneo. The island is best known for its dense jungles and an abundant variety of exotic wildlife conscientiously preserved for visitors to enjoy during Borneo holidays. Nature enthusiasts on Borneo holidays flock to Sabah’s Sukau Rainforest Lodge to see some of Borneo’s endangered wildlife in their native habitat. Visitors bird watch, take guided jungle treks, and river safaris while on a Borneo holiday.

Borneo

The Sights and Sounds of Vietnam
Vietnam’s culture is unique, but it has been heavily influenced by the colonial powers which historically ruled there. For example, visitors on Vietnam holidays see a South East Asian country that has adopted many French culinary traditions and some Chinese words and phrases. Vietnam presents an eclectic contrast of bustling city streets, lush countryside's, and lively river traffic. For adventure seekers on Vietnam holidays, one of the best ways to get around the country is by motor bike. Professional guides regularly take visitors on motorbike sightseeing tours. The famed Mekong River also gives tourists on Vietnam holidays a glimpse of how trade is sometimes accomplished in South East Asia when they experience Vietnamese farmers selling fresh vegetables by boat.

Vietnam Boats/ Market

A taste of…South East Asia from itravelnet.com - Travel Directory

The Big Bend of Texas, your next vacation?

Posted: 11 Feb 2013 05:55 PM PST

Lovers of wild and rugged landscapes, roughly chiseled mountain ranges and immense river systems need look no further than the Big Bend of Texas for their next vacation. A territory with more than one million acres of public land definitely has sufficient room to accommodate plenty of visitors keen to take advantage of the many things to do and see in this wild and beautiful region. Families love it here because there is always something different to try out, new sights to see and exciting activities that surprise and delight all comers.

Superb outdoor living

Camping is great fun and what better way to get a true taste of the outdoors than to stay at one of the campgrounds in Big Bend National Park. Visitors can go as rough and ready as they wish, back-road campsites are free, although a backcountry permit from Park HQ is required and while they offer superb views they provide only a flat gravel pad. A little more upscale are the developed campgrounds, where a small fee is payable. Some have hookups for RVs, flush toilets and potable water. There are also lodges, motel rooms and 4-star luxury resorts for those who like life's little comforts. For the best of both worlds and plenty of extra fun, why not try a tepee, complete with real beds and kitchen equipment.

Exploring the terrain

There are so many ways to get around Big Bend and things to do here, that it is possible to try a different outing every day. Hiking is a popular choice for those who like a challenge and enjoy a chance to get some healthy exercise. Trails are well signposted and there are also accompanied tours led by knowledgeable guides who can describe the local history and geology and point out the significant flora and fauna of the region. This is an ideal way to enjoy birding along some routes.

Horseback riding in the backcountry of Big Bend Ranch State Park, as well as in the national park, enables visitors to explore the terrain a little faster than hiking and all the participating stables welcome family groups.

Tours by jeep and ATV are ideal for family groups who want to cover as much ground as possible. Accompanied by a guide, visitors get to see remote sites of archeological interest, such as the strange landscape of Moon Valley, which was formed by volcanic eruptions and the remains of settlements hundreds of years old.

The best mountain biking trails include established, maintained routes, old abandoned mining trails, primitive single and double tracks or complete off road rugged terrain. There are also many other adrenalin pumping activities, such as river running on the Rio Grande; canoes, kayaks and rafts are used, and recommended routes can be geared to suit the comfort zone of the participants.

Getting there

Big Bend is really remote from major population centers and although driving from one of the bigger Texas cities is possible, it is a long haul and may not get your vacation off to a good start. Perhaps the best way to travel is to take one of the cheap flights to Midland/Odessa, then pick up a rental car at the airport and let the Big Bend adventure begin.

The Big Bend of Texas, your next vacation? from itravelnet.com - Travel Directory

5 Reasons for a Las Vegas Vacation with your Family

Posted: 11 Feb 2013 05:47 PM PST

While some may be hesitant to visit Las Vegas with family, there is plenty of family fun available in Las Vegas, especially in the winter. Without the wild spring breakers and crazy summer pool parties, Las Vegas during the winter is perfect for a family vacation. With the Las Vegas shows, events, great hotel deals, and family fun things to do in Vegas, visiting Las Vegas during the winter is one best times to travel with your family. Here are 5 reasons why you should consider visiting Las Vegas with your family:

1. Family friendly things to do in Las Vegas: While people often think of parties, gambling, and nightclubs when it comes to Las Vegas, there are actually a multitude of fun family oriented shows in Vegas. Part of the reason for taking a vacation as a family is to spend time together and bond by sightseeing and enjoying all of what your travel destination has to offer. Las Vegas has no shortage of events and shows that are appropriate for all ages. Here are some Las Vegas shows to see with family in 2013.

Family Friendly Las Vegas Shows:

- LOVE by Cirque du Soleil Las Vegas at the Mirage
- "O" by Cirque du Soleil at the Bellagio Las Vegas
- Tournament of Kings Las Vegas at the Excalibur
- Mac King's Comedy Magic show at Harrah's

2. Family Fun Attractions in Las Vegas: Beyond seeing a Las Vegas show, there are many daytime activities and things to do in Vegas with your family. Family vacations and keeping the kids entertained on vacation can often times leave a dent in your wallet, but fortunately there are many family friendly free attractions in Las Vegas.

Las Vegas attractions to visit with family:

- The Mirage Volcano on the Las Vegas Strip at the Mirage Hotel
- M&Ms World Las Vegas on the Strip
- The free Fall of Atlantis show in the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace
- The Sirens of TI show outside of Treasure Island
- The Show in the Sky free masquerade parade show at the Rio Hotel

3. Winter Las Vegas Hotel Deals: It’s no surprise that Las Vegas hotels offer special deals during the winter months. While hotels are often very busy during the summer for vacationers who want to lay out and enjoy the pool and warm weather, hotels in Las Vegas often offer special winter deals to help fill their rooms. With the special Las Vegas hotel deals available, you and your family can save big bucks on your Vegas vacation without sacrificing any Vegas luxury that you expect. Many hotels offer special winter packages with Las Vegas promo codes to get you even lower rates.

4 . While spending time with the family is important on a family vacation, Las Vegas is a destination where you and your kids can both find your own fun. Part of the allure for a family trip to Las Vegas is that both you and your kids can enjoy Las Vegas attractions separately. If travelling with small children, many hotels can help set up child care or have day care options if you speak with the concierge. This way, you won't have to worry about the kids if you need some time alone on your vacation or want to see a Las Vegas show. For older children, many hotels such as the Excalibur, New York New York, and MGM grand have arcades that your kids can enjoy while you play in the Casino or get that alone vacation time you've been needing.

5. Kid Friendly Restaurants: Finding family friendly Las Vegas Restaurants is easy. Within each of the Las Vegas hotels there are multitudes of buffets and restaurants so any picky eaters won't have a problem. Some popular Vegas restaurants for kids include:

- Planet Hollywood or the Cheesecake Factory at the Forum Shops inside Caesars Palace
- Sugar Factory for desert at the Paris Las Vegas
- Hash House A Go GO at the Quad Las Vegas
- Holsteins Las Vegas at the Cosmopolitan
- Big Belly Buffet at the Monte Carlo Hotel

This article was written by travel expert Ariel Abbott, Editor of EarlyVegas.com. Check out the EarlyVegas Las Vegas Hotels page for more information on the best deals for Las Vegas hotels, shows, events and more.

5 Reasons for a Las Vegas Vacation with your Family from itravelnet.com - Travel Directory

Visiting Barcelona and Madrid during your Spanish holiday

Posted: 11 Feb 2013 03:59 PM PST

When you visit Spain, you should visit Barcelona and Madrid. Those two cities are very popular as the tourist destinations in this country. You do not have to worry about travelling from one place to another place. There is a fast moving train called AVE train which has made travel between these two great cities a breeze as the trip only takes 2 hours and 45 minutes to travel from Barcelona to Madrid and vice versa. Read this article if you want to learn about some interesting local places that you need to visit while you are in Barcelona and Madrid.

Barcelona

There are many attractive places in this city. This is considered as the second largest city in Spain. Here are some interesting places that you can visit in Barcelona.

a. Museums

There are many different museums in this city. Palau National Museum is one museum that is dedicated to the art. People from around the world love visiting this museum. If you love art and history, you need to visit this beautiful museum. Another popular museum is called as the German Pavilion. This museum is very suitable for those of you who love architecture. There are many other options, including Joan Miro Museum and Museu Etnologic.

b. Shopping

Barcelona is very popular for its shopping centers. There are many different shopping centers that you can visit while you are in this city. It offers unforgettable shopping experience for all tourists visiting Barcelona. Kelkom and Custo are top two shops that offer luxury fashion brands from around the world. If you want to find the affordable option for your clothes, you need to visit Bulsos Toros. There are many sophisticated clothes, outfits, and also accessories for you.

Madrid

Madrid is also very popular for its interesting places to visit. There are many activities that you can do while you here, and renting apartments in Madrid is a good alternative to staying in hotels. Here are some interesting places that you could visit while you are in this city.

a. Las Ventas Bullring

This is the best place where you are able to watch the bullfights. During the fights, there are some best fighters, bulls, and some aficionado that are brought together into the stadium. This is a very exciting attraction that you need to visit while you are in Madrid. This bullfighting is one of the most popular attractions in Madrid.

b. Casa de Campo zoo

If you are visiting Madrid with your family, you can visit Casa de Campo zoo. There are many different animals that you can meet in this zoo. This amusement park is able to keep your kids entertained by those animals. Enjoy your time with your family by visiting this zoo.

Those some activities that you can do in Barcelona and Madrid. Make sure that book all accommodation in advance in order to avoid any problems when you are in those cities. If you are looking for the best accommodation, apartments in Barcelona are a popular option. These apartments are relatively cheaper than hotels and you can live more like a local when staying in an apartment.

Visiting Barcelona and Madrid during your Spanish holiday from itravelnet.com - Travel Directory

Bradenton Beach on Anna Maria – Is this the perfect vacation location on earth!?

Posted: 11 Feb 2013 06:49 AM PST

Bradenton Beach

If you’re looking to enjoy a stay on the balmy shores of Anna Maria Island then the perfect spot has to be Bradenton Beach. Situated on the southern tip of the long, narrow strip of sand that is Anna Maria Island, Bradenton Beach is the island’s most southerly city, and features some of the best local amenities, making it the ideal location for your vacation rental. Whether you want a cozy luxury apartment or a spacious beach front villa to relax in, you’ll find the retreat of your dreams here.

One of the main draws for visitors to Anna Maria Island are the incredible beaches, and Bradenton Beach is home to two of the best: Cortez Beach and Coquina Beach. Cortez beach offers the best surfing on the island, thanks to the three groins that extend out into the deep blue of the Gulf. The beach is without lifeguards so be sure you’re confident before taking a plunge. Because of its lack of facilities the beach is usually quieter and less crowded than others on the island, which makes it great for those looking for a place to relax. It also means you’ll need to take a visit back to your vacation rental to clean off before hitting the town. Coquina beach is where I tend to head with the family. With a full selection of amenities such as a picnic area, snack bars, playground for the kids and showers and restrooms on hand Coquina is a great day out.

But Bradenton Beach isn’t just about lazy days stretched out on the warm sand. Once you’ve unwound and soaked up some of that Florida sunshine then you’ll want to explore the town. Every time I visit Bradenton Beach I always make a visit to Bridge Street. This quaint strip houses the city’s commercial district, which is as full of colour and life as the island itself.

If you want to pick up some beach gear the Bridge Street Bazaar has plenty to offer, from t-shirts and sunglasses (which always seem to get forgotten during the hurried packing in my home) to novelty gifts to take back for relatives on your return. If you’re looking for something artsy then shops such as Bridge Street Jewelers, The Back Alley and The Hive should be high on your list with local and imported jewelry, painting, pottery and more. Every Sunday there is also a bustling outdoor market with all manner of wares on display. You’ll also find great places to eat here from family friendly restaurants to traditional Florida grills and refined bistros.

When you’ve finished shopping and eating then be sure to take a walk along the Historic Bridge Street Pier. This was the site of the original bridge which connected the city to the mainland, and is one of the county’s best loved attractions for visitors to the city.

At the end of a full day’s exploration and excitement I love to head back to the quiet of my vacation rental, pour myself a cold drink and enjoy the sun setting over the sparkling waters of the Gulf. It can’t last forever but you’ll wish it could when you visit Bradenton Beach.

Bradenton Beach on Anna Maria – Is this the perfect vacation location on earth!? from itravelnet.com - Travel Directory

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