9 Festivals That Every Traveller Should Add to Their Bucket List

Carnivale Di Venezia_YouTube

Love events, festivals and travelling? Here are a few festivals you definitely shouldn’t miss during your lifetime.

No matter the country, there is always a celebration or festival to enjoy.

Festivals are one of the best ways to experience the unique culture, food and music that a destination has to offer, and there are so many to choose from.

We’ve put together a list of some of our favorite festivals around the world. Get ready to start wanting to plan your next trip.  

Must-See World Festivals

1.Holi

Where: Mumbai, India

When: March

Color and unity are what the Holi festival celebrations are all about. During this two-day festival, people throw colors and celebrate everything that unifies them.  This is a sight unlike anything you’ve ever seen and the joy is contagious. While the festivities are quite mild in the mornings, by the afternoon, everyone is involved and dancing to music. Once the street festivities are done, most people continue the celebrations at home.

Source: The Digest

2. Carnivale Di Venezia

Where: Venice, Italy

When: February

Spend time wandering around the ancient streets of Venice, which is packed with people in 18th century costumes during this annual festival. Along with feeling like you’ve stepped through a time portal, there are several areas that offer great parties during this time, including Cannaregio and Dorsoduro.

Source: YouTube

3. Swedish Midsummer

Where: Stockholm, Sweden

When: June

Every year, the Swedes host a three-day Midsummer celebration that includes picking flowers, creating wreaths, dancing and eating, all the while enjoying the longest day of the year. Most celebrations start in the afternoon and run through to midnight. While Stockholm is the best place to experience this celebration, most of the other cities in Sweden celebrate it in parks too.

Source: Routes North

4. Snowbombing

Where: Mayrhofen, Austria

When: April

If you’re game for a good party, Snowbombing is one of the biggest celebrations that take place in Austria every year. While the festival is centered around snow sports, the music festival is one of the highlights. Enjoy the snowboarding competitions and tricks by the pros during the day and watch an array of music acts by night. You won’t have a better experience on snow.

Source: Radio X

5. San Vino Wine Fight

Where: Haro, Spain

When: June

This is one of Europe’s most underrated festivals. Every year, thousands of people gather in Haro after sunrise to join a battle that only involves red wine and good times. Use a bucket, water gun or any other weapon that can hold red wine and you’re ready to go. Spend the day spraying others with wine well into the evening, which is when the party continues.

Source: Even Traveler

Recommended Read: Tips for Seeing Europe by Train

6. Notting Hill Carnival

Where: Notting Hill, London

When: August

This vibrant carnival takes place over the bank holiday weekend in August and fills the streets with floats, dancers and drums. Months of preparation go into this event and it’s something that people of all ages can enjoy. Whether you want to enjoy the floats or dance, this is one of the best ways to spend a day in London in August.

Source: Evening Standard

7. Day of the Dead

Where: Mexico City, Mexico

When: November

Dia de los Meurtos has been around for centuries and while the people of Mexico like to celebrate it in different ways, visitors can enjoy an eye-catching parade that honors those who have passed on. Everyone is encouraged to dress up on the day and join the festivities with the locals. There is also plenty of food, drinks and music to enjoy – it is a celebration after all.

Source: Reader’s Digest

8. Oktoberfest

Where: Munich, Germany

When: September

During the month of September, Munich is filled with beer tents, pretzels and lederhosen. In fact, the city sees over 6 million visitors over this two-week period. It might be busy but the atmosphere is unmatched. Enjoy traditional food, dancing, music and, of course, some of the best beer in the world.

Source: Cover More NZ

9. Hogmanay

Where: Edinburgh, Scotland

When: December

If you want to try something different for your next New Year’s celebration, head to Scotland for Hogmanay. This is one of the best ways to ring in the new year, Viking style. From concerts and bonfires to music and a Viking procession, this is a two-day celebration everyone should experience at least once.

Source: BBC

No matter what time of the year you’re planning to travel, chances are you will be able to find an exciting event or festival that you can join and enjoy. If you want to do something a little different on your next trip, head to a local festival.

Giethoorn – The Town that Swopped Roads for Waterways

Giethoorn_World Atlas

Ever wanted to visit a town that looks like it’s out of a fairy-tale? Giethoorn has been dubbed the Dutch Venice and rightly so.

When most people think of cities with canals, Venice is their go-to city. However, not many people know that Venice isn’t the only city surrounded by waterways.

Located in the north-eastern side of the Netherlands, Giethoorn is the Dutch Venice of Europe.

Source: Bored Panda

The beautiful village dates back to the 13th century with historians saying that it was given its name when a group of farmer-settlers stumbled upon a collection of wild goat horns. These goats were said to have perished during floods that occurred in the 1100s. Goat horn, which was once pronounced as Geytenhoren, was shortened to Giethoorn, which is what the town has been called ever since. Since the floods, water has always been a defining feature of the village and today, it’s how most residents get around.

Why Visit Giethoorn?

This quaint little village has less than 3,000 residents, all of whom reside on private patches of land, or islands. There are roughly 180 bridges that make it easy to get around the village but many residents prefer to take boats.

Source: Gotravelyourself

Giethoorn’s sheer beauty is the perfect reason to visit this fairy-tale village, however, there is a lot to keep you busy too. From learning more about the history of the area and hiking to browsing art exhibitions and ice skating during the winter months, this is a truly special place to visit.

If you want to get to Giethoorn, you’re going to need to fly into Amsterdam, which you may want to add to your trip anyway since you will be passing through. From there, you can either travel by bus, boat or train to this tiny village – the trip takes about 2 hours.

Once You’re There

  • Take in the views of the canals and homes. The Binnenpad canal is one of the best places to take in all of the bridges and homes. If photography is your thing, head out early so that you can catch the sunrise – it’s a view you won’t soon forget. You can even head out close to sunset, which is just as beautiful but it might be slightly busier.
  • See the canals by boat. Naturally, you should definitely arrange to take a boat tour, which you can book here.
  • Learn about the history of the village. Museum “Het Olde Maat Uus”, Museum de Oude Aarde and the Histomobil are all worth a visit and will give you great insights into the history of the area.
  • Explore one of the largest national parks. De Weerribben-Wieden National Park is the largest national park in the Netherlands and is home to a diverse range of insects and animals, including green hawker dragonflies, otters and large copper butterflies.
Source: Viator

If you are heading to the Netherlands during your next vacation, take at least one day to visit Gieterhoorn, you’ll be glad you did.

What to Be Aware of to Avoid Getting Ill While Travelling

Getting Ill on Vacation_Air Doctor

If you have an international trip coming up, naturally you want to avoid getting ill. Here are a few things you should avoid.

When you put a lot of time and money into a vacation, the last thing you want is to get ill two days in and have to head home. Getting ill when you’re trying to relax and have a good time is, in a word, frustrating.

While you will never be able to rule out illness altogether, there are things you can do to minimise the risks.

How to Avoid Getting Ill on Vacation

  • Go Easy on the Tap Water

While tap water is fine to drink in many countries, the bacteria that is found in local tap water can vary quite wildly. It’s the bacteria that tends to make travellers ill, especially if they end up drinking a lot of it. Basically, too much foreign bacteria too soon can have negative effects, so drink it in moderation and stick to majority bottled water. Don’t forget about ice and the fact that produce is washed in tap water too – something to consider.

  • Double Check Those Hotel Glasses

In theory, you should be able to trust that a hotel will hand you the keys to a room that has been thoroughly cleaned but it’s still best to take some precautions. If a glass is not wrapped in a sealed plastic bag, rinse it thoroughly or ask for a new one. You never know when a glass has been rubbed down with a dirty rag before being placed back on a counter.

  • Stay Away from Deserted Restaurants

Food poisoning can take several days out of your vacation. To avoid this, stay away from restaurants and food carts that don’t seem very busy. The rule of thumb is that if the locals are eating there and it’s continuously busy, it’s probably safe for you to eat there too. Over and above this, busier establishments have a higher food turnover, which means you are almost guaranteed fresher ingredients.

Recommended Read: How to Eat Like a Local

  • Don’t Forgo a Doctor’s Visit If You Get Very Ill

Apps such as Air Doctor make it that much easier to get in touch with a medical professional when you really need one. If you are very ill, it’s best not to try and rely on your immune system alone. Even if you feel a slight cold coming on, rather get some medication to boost your system. Leaving things to run their course can also make you more vulnerable to other infections.

  • Protect Your Skin from the Sun

Sun exposure can cause problems that are a lot worse than sunburn. Not many people realise that excess exposure to the sun is said to cause stomach issues as well as sunstroke, which could send you to the hospital. It takes less than 15 minutes to apply sunscreen and ensure you have a hat and sunglasses for the day ahead – rather be safe.

  • Always Research Your Destination

When you’re not a local, you don’t always hear about potential health risks. To avoid getting ill, make a point of researching any health risks in your destination so that you can take precautions and know what to be aware of.

  • Stay Away from Plane Seatback Pockets

When you travel by plane, you’re already exposed to an array of germs. One area of planes that hardly ever gets cleaned very thoroughly between flights is seatback pockets. It’s fine to have a read through the emergency information but try to limit your exposure to this pocket as much as possible. In fact, this goes for most surfaces in a plane – keep your hand sanitizer close by.

By being more aware of your surroundings and what you’re exposing your body to, it is possible to stay healthy and happy on your vacation.

7 of the World’s Most Scenic Road Trips

While some hate being cooped up in a car, others love the open road and all the adventure it brings. From beautiful views and interesting stops to playlists. There are so many road trips that you could potentially take but we’ve put together a few of our favorites.

Road Trips – Doing It Right

If you want to enjoy a road trip to the fullest, you need to plan ahead. Here are a few tips that you can use to make this one of your best trips yet.

  • Have a high-level itinerary in place. Your road trip plan doesn’t have to be overly detailed but it’s best to know where you’re planning to go and what you would ideally like to see.
  • Take detours into account. You never know when you might come across a stop that you hadn’t planned for, so give yourself some extra time in case this happens.
  • Have your music ready before your trip. No road trip is complete without some good music but instead of trying to find the perfect playlist while you’re on the road, plan your music out in advance.
  • Know the rules of the road. If you will be planning a road trip in a foreign country, you’ll definitely want to familiarise yourself with the rules of the road.
  • Keep an eye on the weather. Make sure that you pack everything you need by keeping an eye on the weather. The last thing you want is to be overly hot or cold when you’re trying to enjoy yourself.
  • Sort out navigation. Getting lost can lead to a lot of unpleasantness and lost time, so make sure that your route is added to a GPS before your trip. You may even want to have a road map for good measure.
  • Make your bookings in advance. It might sound glamorous to find places to stay as you get to each destination along your route but the last thing you want is to be without a comfortable bed for the night. Book in advance, especially if you know that an event will be taking place in a specific city.

World-Class Routes Everyone Should Travel

1. Great Ocean Road – Australia

Visit Victoria

This stretch of road is located in Victoria and runs between Melbourne and the south coast. The entire route is about 150 miles and offers everything from unique rock formations and beaches to a rainforest. If you have a few days to spare and want to take in some amazing views, this is definitely a route to add to your list.

Must-See Site: The Twelve Apostles

2. Seven Lakes Circuit – Argentina

Culture Trip

If you only have a day to spare for a road trip in Argentina, this is one route to add to your list. This winding route is brimming with peaks, peaceful lakes and green forests. The Seven Lakes Circuit actually forms part of Ruta 40, which starts in the south of the country – this portion is situated in the west.  

Must-See Site: All Seven Lakes

Recommended Read: Top Destinations for Outdoor Lovers

3. Wild Atlantic Way – Ireland

Flight Network

Spanning over 1500 miles, this is the longest coastal route in the world. From gorgeous beaches, unique culture and huge cliffs, there is a lot to see on this route that runs from the Inishowen Peninsula to the Celtic Sea Coast. You can spend anything from 2 – 4 weeks exploring the coastline if you really wanted to.

Must-See Site: Cliffs of Moher

4. North Coast 500 – Scotland

CountryFile

This particular part of Scotland’s coastline offers some of the best scenery. The route starts in Inverness and takes you around the entire north coast where you can enjoy white beaches, winding roads, Iron Age structures and magnificent mountain ranges. This route is just over 500 miles and you would need about 5 days to complete it.

Must-See Site: Duncansby Head

5. Alpine Route – Germany

Yatra

This is one of the most breathtaking routes in Europe. The route starts in the town of Lindau near Lake Constance and runs 280 miles to Königssee in the east. It’s possible to do this route in a day or two but if you really want to take in all of the sites, you’ll want to plan for at least a week. Along with all the natural beauty, this route is also home to the world’s oldest monastery and brewery.

Must-See Site: Neuschwanstein Castle

6. Blue Ridge Parkway – Carolina

Visit the USA

This beautiful route links the Shenandoah Mountains of Virginia to the Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina. If you want to explore fields, farms and small towns, this is one of the best routes to take. You can expect to see some very dramatic scenes as you make your way along this route, which is just under 470 miles.

Must-See Site: Natural Bridge — Milepost 61

7. The Ring Road – Iceland

Expert Vagabond

If you really want to do something different and immerse yourself in nature, you can travel over 800 miles along Iceland’s Ring Road. In 8 days you can see volcanoes, black sand beaches and massive waterfalls, but at least 2 weeks are recommended in order to see and do as much as possible.

Must-See Site: Hekla Volcano

These are just a few of the most memorable road trips that you can plan around the world – where will you go next?