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Philippine Adventures: Compelling Reasons Why You Should Try ATV Riding at Least Once

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“It is great adrenaline rush, especially running waterfalls. The feeling of dropping off the edge can be thrilling and terrifying at the same time.” -Anna Levesque

It has been said that you have never truly lived until such time that you experience that rush of adrenaline that takes you to new heights.

That feeling that gives you an inexplicable sensation is unlike any other brought about the slight risk in what you are doing. For this reason, a slew of people would literally chase death-defying activities that would more often than not, cross the boundary of what you would consider as daring enough. However, what about those of us who would wish to experience that very same kind of rush sans the risk involved? Well, ATV (all terrain vehicle) riding might just be an activity that addresses your need.

In a nutshell, ATV in the Philippines is pretty much just like driving a small motorcycle or car insomuch that you have pedals to break and accelerate. Perhaps the biggest difference lies on the kind of terrains you would be driving on. All terrain vehicles are specially designed to function in all types of terrains and seasons. With this in mind, you are sure to have that rush of adrenaline. Indeed, while a semblance of risk is involved in ATV riding, it is a calculated one. More importantly, if you invested in a set of appropriate safety gear, the chances of anything untoward happening to you are pretty much mitigated. In any case, if you needed more compelling reasons as to why you should try ATV riding at least once, take a gander at the list below:

 

It takes camping up a notch

If you have been camping for a while, it can feel like you have been doing exactly the same thing every single time insomuch that the monotony of it all tends to take away the fun of camping itself. Forget about doing scavenger hunts, stories and songs around the campfire and take it up a notch by injecting a bit of fun into it. Go ATV riding instead and bring them with you. Explore the wilderness with your ATVs and you are guaranteed to have an even better time scouring the woods than you would have been had you been simply on foot.

 

It beats expensive vacations

Sure, expensive vacations can mean a lifetime of memories, little trinkets and souvenirs from your trip. But after it ends, what are you left with? More importantly, kids tend to get a little restless and fidgety when you are traveling by always asking where you are going next and if you have arrived yet. Instead of taking another fancy vacation, why not take yourself and your family on an ATV ride instead? ATVs can be a medium for spontaneous adventure and fun where all you would need in is simply to hop in, find a good terrain and be on your merry way.

 

Great exercise

This might have escaped your notice but ATV riding actually makes for a very good exercise. While some might think of it as a bit of a stretch to compare it with lifting weights and going for a run, it does get your heart pumping. More importantly, it works your muscles as you have to be tight so as to have better control over the vehicle.

 

Liberating

ATV riding is an incredibly liberating activity for many. In fact, it is an avenue for stress-relief by some. With everything that is currently happening in your life at the moment, it is imperative to stop and focus on the now. If you feel locked and have lost motivation in your work or just need a little dose of inspiration, simply going through the woods on your ATV would help you feel free. It would help you relax and get rid of anything that might be bothering you–at least for the time being.

 

Better than therapy

Sometimes, you just need a good outlet for your frustrations. Unfortunately, everyone is different and sometimes, it takes more than just talking within the four walls of a room to feel better. Maybe what you need is a healthy dose of adrenaline rush–one that takes you to see the sights, enjoy the beautiful landscapes while feeling the air against your skin. Indeed, ATV riding is an excellent way to feel rejuvenated.

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Traveling with Tots: Five Excellent Tips When Traveling with Children

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“In the end, kids will not remember that fancy toy or game you bought for them; they will remember the time you spent with them.”-Kevin Heath

 

Traveling with your kids is not exactly a prospect most parents would look forward to.

After all, family road trips do not get a bad rep for nothing. More importantly, kids tend to have even shorter attention spans than their adult counterparts insomuch that they get bored easily and would incessantly nag their parents and ask whether they have arrived yet or not. Apart from that, it does not help that more often than not, you and your kids would be cooped up in a van for what would be a three-hour ride (or less, if you are lucky) at the very least. Indeed, from all these, it can be very easy for your little tots to get on your nerve and you would then begin to question why you even had this idea in the first place.

However, do not fret. Road trips do not necessarily need to be terrible and at the very least, they can be fun for everyone as well. However, you do need to be adequately prepared for the trip ahead to ensure that everyone will have an equally good time. So, if you have long been planning to take a day trip to Sandbox, Pampanga or elsewhere with your little kids in tow, here are some things you ought to keep in mind:

Include your kids from the start

Allow your kids to pick out a destination from a list of pre-selected places you have been thinking of going to. If you gave them the liberty to choose where you go, they will be far more receptive to helping you in planning the trip and will be a lot more excited about it because they are a lot invested in the process. Be sure that the list of places you are considering of having them choose from already have your prior approval so that your kids would not randomly think of a place you could not afford or make a trip to go. For trips that are already pre-planned, include your kids by asking them which stops they would want to take along the way. No matter how big or small, making them feel like a part of the planning process would psyche them up for your upcoming trip.

 Start a savings account

If a projected trip is going to last you for days, it would be wise to start saving for it. Anticipate what your expenses would be and have an account ready for that trip specifically. In this way, you would be a lot less stressed about how you would be spending for it and would be able to enjoy it instead with your family.

Make sure a parent sits with the kids every now and then

If you are traveling with your spouse or partner, it would make sense to take turns in driving and keeping the kids company at the back. In this regard, kids would not be causing too much ruckus at the back of the car and are less likely to misbehave owing to a parent’s presence. Furthermore, the parent sitting with the kids might serve as entertainment and comfort to the younger kids and if they are happy, everyone will be happy and a lot less stressed.

Start planning

To mitigate the likelihood of your kids waiting for something to do, start planning your itinerary the day you decide to make the trip. After all, part of what makes a road trip fun is looking forward to what you would do when you get there. So, encourage your older kids to do some research about your destination and ask them if there is anything they want to do or check out. From there, you can then curate a list of sites and activities you want to do. Remember, the earlier you plan, the better chance you will have in getting a reservation. Some places would require advance reservations and may often discounts if you purchase in advance.

Pack smart

One of the things you should keep in mind is not to cram your car with too many stuff lest your kids get cramped in the back seat. Bringing too many things can potentially spell a disaster and might mean your kids would be a lot crankier for the whole ride. Understandably, you would also want to bring enough to entertain your kids or else suffer through your children’s incessant whines and boredom complaints. So, how do you find a happy balance? Well, more often than not, each child would only need one backpack. Mobile entertainment would be enough to keep them hooked for hours and a few games of theirs. Be sure that everything is age-appropriate and leave toys that tend to have children fighting over. Have kid-friendly movies saved and ready in your electronic device in order to keep them still and quiet when they need to be. Make sure that these are downloaded so that you would not need an internet connection just to watch them.

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Epicurean Adventures: Five Food around the World Worth Traveling For

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“Cooking and eating in a foreign country may be the surest, truest way to its soul.” –Author Unknown

 

It has been said that there are little things in the world that are far more enjoyable than travel and food.

In fact, it has been widely believed that the best way to get to know a country is to eat your way through it. In this regard, it would be very much understandable why food is such a pertinent aspect in one’s foreign excursions insomuch that there are some travelers who would be willing to make the travel just to sample any foreign cuisine. After all, a single plate would already tell you a story– a single meal a myriad of tales. Eating food in foreign places tends to give us a brief insight into the city’s history and culture and in this regard, it has been said that there are some foreign food items that are not only good for nourishing the body but for the soul as well.

However, while there is much to be said about trying an array of food items in a foreign place, it is also true that there are foreign dishes worth the expense of an airplane ticket. These are the definitive dishes that most tourists would always include in their travel bucket list as these food items do not only give your palate a flavorful adventure but a memorable epicurean experience as well. And although it has always been argued that there is nothing better than the food cooked at home, these are the very dishes that would make your feet itch and leave home for. After all, people do not simply go on food tours such as a food trip in Pampanga if the food was not all that exceptional.

In any case, here are some of the best food offers around the world that would make for an excellent and compelling reason for travel:

 

Kaya Toast (Singapore)

Singapore is known to be a goldmine of scrumptious food and delectable dishes insomuch that it might just be included in every food enthusiast’s food bucket list. After all, the city of Singapore is known to be a food carnival of all sorts that even the food stalls lining their streets get so much traffic from both locals and travelers. Indeed, food in Singapore runs the gamut from the ever famous Singaporean chili crab to their tasty dim sum staple. However, before you feats yourself on an array of Singaporean food, you might want to start with a lesser known Singaporean food item that is definitely worth coming back for. Before you queue up for Singapore’s more popular food offers, look for the nearest coffee house and try their Kaya toast. You might ask what is so special about this bread that it would merit the first mention on this list. Well, this egg is anything but ordinary as it is essentially bread slathered generously with coconut jam and served with soft-boiled white-peppered eggs that were bathed in soy sauce—all of which are perfect elements to start your day.

Tacos El Pastor (Mexico)

While a serving of tacos is pretty much available in most shopping malls, you would be missing out a lot if you have never tried the authentic ones made from the originators themselves, the Mexicans. This is especially true if you are a big fan of Mexican food and if you are, you should never miss out on the opportunity to eat tacos the way they should be prepared. The streets of Mexico are ubiquitously lined with vendor after vendor selling these definitive Mexican Tacos. What makes them special? Probably because it is nothing like your local Mexican food joint can ever emulate. After all, corn tortillas filled with pork marinated in pineapple juice which is then roasted kebab-style rotisserie is probably nothing like what you had in your local Mexican food joint.

High tea (London)

Although a little bit pricier than what your local Starbucks can offer, having tea and scone in London is very much worth the extra expense. If you can do it at least once, you probably should. There is nothing like sipping on expensive tea with your pinkies up and pairing it with a combination of flour and butter baked to perfection topped with a dollop of the freshest berry jam and the sweetest, richest cream.

Warm Crepes (Paris)

When one thinks of Paris, perhaps the first thing that comes to mind would be baguettes. After all, it seems like this rendition of bread is king when it comes to the city of love. However, do not let baguettes be the sole reason why you would see the beautiful skies of Paris. Traipse down any streets of the city and you would find arrays of food carts selling you crepe with generous spoonsful of Nutella—a must try, definitely and certainly worth booking a plane ticket for.

Pho (Vietnam)

Hailed as one of the world’s best dishes, Pho is that one dish best tasted when prepared by their masters and creators, the Vietnamese. Although pho is typically a soup enjoyed either for lunch and dinner, they are best consumed in the early morning in Hanoi, where it originates from. Eating pho for breakfast means that you can guarantee the freshness of your herbs and the suppleness of your noodles which would emit a mouthwatering aroma. As a result, Pho would not be a gustatory experience, but an olfactory one as well.

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Travel EATineary: Five Excellent Reasons You Should Go on a Food Tour

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“If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay at home.” –James Michener

 

One of the best ways to truly get to know a foreign city is to eat your way through it.

After all, eating itself is already a visceral and immersive experience. Consequently, indulging yourself in the foreign flavors a city can be a wonderful experience that is certainly nothing short of delightful. Seeing as the consumption food is known to be one of the best ways to explore and discover more about a city, the concept of food tours was then introduced and since then, it spread like wildfire. For this reason, localized food tours such as the one we have in the Philippines like the Pampanga food trip have been rather popular insomuch that it attracts tourists by the droves. So, if you wish to put a fresh new spin on your travel ventures and go on an epicurean journey.

After all, it has been said that food prepared on the other side of the world is all the more tasteful. In any case, here are some of the compelling reasons that should convince you to go on a food tour on your next trip:

It is an amazing introduction to the city

Of course, there are other ways you can learn about a country which is mainly done through research and reading articles and books. However, there is no better way to explore a country or city than to eat your way through it. In fact, one might even go as far as to suggest that each plate you consume and whatever meal you might eat in a foreign city will likely tell you a story. Similarly, it might even give you a glimpse into the city’s culture. After all, the harmony of flavors has subtle hints about the locality it is offered in. Plus, food tours also allow you to see the city in a different light than you would have had you been part of a food tour.

You visit the places locals love and take the road less traveled

Sure, while guidebooks and travel articles would proclaim where the best places and tourist spots to visit in the city are, there is a likely chance that they would miss all the spots which locals have developed a fondness for. However, as food tours are primarily organized by the city itself, you would then have the chance to get up close and personal to the locals as well as try out the food they know to be the best. Furthermore, you cannot always rely on reviews to point you towards the best restaurants in town. If you wish to get the best recommendation, there is no better person to ask than the locals themselves.

You can see and sample a lot

Walking in on a restaurant and asking to try everything they have to offer in their menu is not only unorthodox but rather impractical. In this regard, you can only rely on what you think you might fancy or from review recommendations. However, food tours are not so limiting. In fact, food tours would often encourage participants to try all of the dishes showcased and select the best one after their initial tasting. Of course, the most difficult part would be selecting one that you like as you are guaranteed to like quite a lot of dishes.

You meet other food enthusiasts

Of course, food tours will likely attract like-minded individuals who have developed a unique affinity for food and they come in all shapes and sizes (and ages too!). Some of these foodies would even be chefs and would love to share and swap recipes with you. Participating in a food tour means you would also get to know people who share the same passion for food as you do and if you are lucky, they might just recommend the next food tour you should join. Plus, who knows if you might end up forming friendships with them? You might not know it but they might just invite you to explore the city with them as well.

It is always a delightful experience

Regardless of what food tour you join, it would always be a delightful experience and one that is worth reminiscing over and over. In fact, it can be said that a food tour might just be one of the best experiences you will ever have while out of town. Take note: No two food tours are the same just as no two cities are entirely alike. Even the food tours within the city are not entirely alike so you might want to go on and try as many tours as you possibly can.

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Five Need-to-Know Tips for ATV Beginners With Quad Cars

 

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“There is no passion to be found playing small—in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”-Nelson Mandela

 

ATV in the Philippines has been recently gaining quite a following. It is a type of sport wherein people have found themselves developing an interest in. After all, there is nothing quite like the pure exhilaration and the rush of excitement you would feel when you first get on a quad.

In some cases, the rush of being on a new vehicle is too much that you would be tempted to run it like you stole it. However, this is not necessarily a good idea—particularly if you are still a beginner. After all, it is always best to get a feel of the vehicle first before riding it to its full capacity. Furthermore, as you are technically still a novice, it would be best if you took some safety precautions first. So, if you are planning on going on ATV riding this weekend, here are some of the need-to-know basics you ought to keep in mind:

 

 

Get to know the quad

If you have recently taken home a new quad, know that the first thing you should do is to read the manual. Unfortunately, like most new car owners, most individuals who own quads would think that manual reading is negligible and not really all that important. However, reading the manual is pivotal to the proper care and maintenance of your ATV. After all, your vehicle is likely a significant investment so you would want to ensure that it is adequately taken care of. You do not have to read it from cover to cover but at least orient yourself to the features of your quad car, the functions, maintenance schedules, and proper break-in procedures.

Inspect and top off all fluids

While taking out your new ATV or quad car for a test ride might seem like a tempting prospect, you should hold that thought until you have already checked the lifeblood of the motor. Keep in mind that most common mishaps which would consequently damage your motor’s internal organs can easily be avoided simply if you took the extra time to check on your vehicle’s motor. Much like how you would routinely check a car if it has enough water, so should you for an ATV. Twist off the cap and ensure that the engine oil, coolant, and differential fluids are all at the proper level.

Tighten Lug Nuts

More often than not, ATVs would be packed tightly into crates when they arrive at your local dealership’s shop. In this regard, no one would exactly know for sure what happens during shipments. In this regard, it would be best if you tighten the vehicle’s lug nuts and torque it well on all four wheels. You do not want to be braving the dirt roads only to have one of the lug nuts coming off which is a potential accident waiting to happen. Besides, it does not take much of your time to tighten them, so take the extra time to do so.

Check the tire pressure

Having enough air in your tires would mean ease of ride. Furthermore, knowing the tire pressure is crucial to the handling characteristics of your vehicle. There are dangerous consequences posed by tires running out of air and if this were to occur to you, facing all kinds of difficulties would be a possibility. However, you should not run with too much air as well as this well lead you to consequently bounce uncontrollably on your quad. While lower pressure might mean that a tire would be easier to puncture, it allows for more traction in softer soils. On the other hand, high pressure would mean higher durability and predictable sliding. However, there is less traction. Your job as an owner is to find the balance between these two. You can always start with the manufacturer’s recommendation and pump in or out air as you wish and as you deem suitable to your riding needs.

Engage the clutch

Engaging the clutch takes no more than a few seconds to do and in turn, would give you a more convenient and comfortable ride. Setting your clutch in the position it engages allows you to pull your clutch lever with two fingers which means your other two fingers can hold on to the grips. In this regard, you can handle difficult terrains better and still have a good grip in your hands.

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Compelling Reasons Why You Should Still Book a Hotel as an Accommodation

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“Life is a journey that must be traveled no matter how bad the roads and accommodations.” –Oliver Goldsmith

 

George Bernard Shaw was once quoted to say that the great advantage of a hotel is that it is a refuge from home life. However, with the myriad of accommodation options available to travelers—all of which are relatively inexpensive in comparison to hotel bookings—it would be no surprise as to why they would opt for the more practical and economical alternative.

Indeed, various types of accommodation come with their own respective advantages and disadvantages. However, hotels remain as a reliable, comfortable, straightforward and easy option insomuch that it might just be the first thing that pops into a tourist’s head when they are scouring for accommodation options. If you have been wondering whether you should stay in one of the Pampanga hotels or elsewhere during your next excursion as opposed to staying in an inn or dormitory, here are some of the reasons why hotels remain to be the best travel accommodations—regardless of where it might be.

 

Service

Hotels are always known for their exceptional service regardless of how many stars a particular hotel has attained. After all, if you are in the hospitality industry, you would need to capitalize on the quality of service you can render to your guests. Although the types of businesses in this industry run the gamut from extravagant resorts to hostels, you can expect a degree of service from each of them. With this in mind, you would know that you will be in good hands and that you can have a relaxing and comfortable stay.

Worldwide availability

Spontaneity is a characteristic distinct to most travelers. Resultantly, many of them would not plan every detail of their trip and would just end up where their feet might take them. While this might be admirable, it could potentially put them in a travel snag wherein they would not have a place to stay for the night unless they are open to the idea of camping out. Fortunately, hotels are available wherever you might be in the world. Whether you are discovering the nooks and crannies of a major city or exploring the hidden gems of the countryside, you can always be assured by the fact that a hotel would be not too far away. A little caveat though: Hotels in far-flung areas typically do not feature the same amenities and services with the ones found in major cities unless they are run by the same chain.

Amenities

When you are not out touring the city or exploring any nearby towns, it would be great to spend some time at your accommodation. However, cheap accommodations only have the bare essentials covered such as a room to stay and a place to eat. In some cases, there would not be any restaurants in sight depending on where you are. Staying in a hotel guarantees that you have something to do during your downtime apart from staying holed up in your room. You can either enjoy an afternoon dip in the pool, go for a jog, get a workout in the gym or check out their bars. Moreover, hotels have housekeeping which ensures that you do not have to give a thought about daily chores. From room services, internet access to laundry services, a whole range of services would be available to you. In this regard, relaxation should be the only thing on your mind.

Diverse dining options

Top notch and luxury hotels offer their guests a variety of restaurants that have their own foreign specialties. However, if you do not wish to dine out and would rather stay in, you can have food sent up to you as well.

Location

Most hotels are located in proximity to commercial establishments or tourist areas. In this regard, the possibility of getting lost is mitigated. Furthermore, transport hubs and important sights would just be within your reach and the airport would not be too far away either. If you need directions, you can always ask the trusty front-desk manager for them. Lastly, hotels have shuttle services should you need to go to other areas which would make it easy for you to find your way back to the hotel.

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Travel EATinerary: Five Excellent Tips for Staying Healthy While Eating on the Road

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“I am kind of obsessed with food. I like to eat. When I tour, it is like, well, life a food tour as much as a comedy tour.”-Aziz Ansari

 

It has been said that the best way to know more about a country is to eat your way through it. Resultantly, the concept of food tours was introduced. After all, according to Paul Prudhomme, one does not require a silver fork to eat good food. This sentiment alone tells us that excellent food can be found and enjoyed almost anywhere in a foreign city, from luxurious and sophisticated restaurants to obscure and relatively unknown eateries.

In fact, the very idea of food tourism capitalizes on showcasing tourists and locals the best of what the city can offer in terms of culinary treats while simultaneously exploring the locale. After all, food tourism is about the adventure as much as it is about the food. Unfortunately, while you are guaranteed to a smorgasbord of scrumptious treats at every stop, no one can vouch for the quality of food you are going to ingest—regardless of whether you are dining at a restaurant or in a food tour. The consumption of food may be a visceral experience, albeit enjoyable on a whole but that does not excuse our blithe attitude in terms of checking its quality before consumption. Getting sick in the middle of a trip can truly put a damper on your plans and deter you from trying out more local foods which is why we need to be a little more vigilant about the food we are about to ingest—most especially when we are on the road and in areas where comfort rooms are rather scarce. However, this article is not meant to deprive you of enjoyment associated with trying out new hole-in-the-wall restaurants and street food fares.

It does, however, caution you to be a little mindful of the basic sanitary practices that went into the preparation of your food. You can still approach eating with reckless abandon, but at the very least try to follow basic sanitary guidelines regardless of whether you are eating at a five-star restaurant or with some food buddies in a food trip in Pampanga. In any case, here are some of the ways you can have an authentic dining experience while you mitigate the risks of getting ill:

 

Wash your hands often

There is no substitute for washing your hands with soap and water. Alternatives such as hand sanitizers, alcohol, and hand creams just do not cut it. Before partaking in a meal, always ALWAYS wash your hands. In fact, wash them whenever you can and then, wash them again. Not to promote obsessive-compulsiveness but washing your hands is a good habit to develop. In this regard, wash your hands before and after a meal and anytime you can think of it.

Beware of fruit shakes in drink stands with no access to purified water

Sure, they look tempting enough on the stands and what’s more is that they are reasonably priced as well. However, before you try every flavor available and go on a fruit shake bingefest, be a hundred percent sure that the water they have been using (and the ice for that matter) has been purified. Of course, this is not to say you should deprive yourself of the inexpensive pleasure of drinking beverages made from a drink stand. But, if it does not have access to potable water and has questionable sanitary practices, you might want to skip this treat.

Choose cooked over fresh food

While food freshness is key, if you are uncertain about the hygiene and sanitary practices of a particular restaurant or eatery, it would make more sense to opt for food that is properly cooked. Anything that has been cooked in high temperature will kill residual germs and bacteria that might have been sitting on the food. Keep in mind that though a food might be fresh, if it was improperly handled, there is still a likely chance it would give you the stomach flu. So, when you are in doubt, go for anything that is fried, boiled or baked instead.

Take it easy on the meat

Meat can turn potentially rancid in a significantly shorter time that vegetables ever will. More importantly, it is a lot meaner on your body when ingested. If you are unsure about how your meat is handled (or how long it stood), go easy on it and choose vegetables instead. As much as possible, reserve your meat-eating exploits within the confines of formal restaurants and eateries where it is guaranteed to have refrigeration.

Look for high turnover and low fly-count

If you are feeling a bit adventurous and would want to try the flavors of the street, look for stalls that have a high turnover of food. More importantly, scout for food stalls that do not have flies atop their food. Flies are vectors of disease and if they have sitting atop food for a while, there is a likely chance that the food would already be contaminated with bacteria and germs.

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