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We’re funny (usually), controversial (sometimes) and insightful (always!). Our travel experts share their experiences below in hopes of hearing back from YOU. So read, comment and enjoy!

Posts in ‘Sport & Adventure’

Camping popular during crunch

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Holidaymakers are going back to nature to make the most of discount breaks.

The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) has said that camping and caravan holidays are proving particularly popular options.

Britons are packing up tents and heading on active holidays to long-haul and short-haul destinations.

Frances Tuke, spokesperson for ABTA, has explained that "posh camping" is enjoying a renaissance, especially in Europe.

"Camping and what we call ‘posh camping’ have both been very popular over the last year or so. The kind of camping [breaks] where you get semi-permanent structures with pot-belly stoves in them have been really popular," she explained.

Recent research from the Caravan Club revealed that many holidaymakers who go on caravan and camping breaks make an effort to be more environmentally friendly.

Some 78 per cent of those polled said they recycle on a camping or caravan adventure break, while 80 per cent take steps to save energy and 84 per cent attempt to save water.

Active and Adventure – Air Activities – Enjoy an exhilarating helicopter ride over New York or a serene hot air balloon ride over the Australian outback.

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Iceland ‘excellent’ for adventure

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Iceland’s natural surroundings are a good place to enjoy an adventure holiday, it has been suggested.

The country boasts a host of popular tourist attractions, including the famous Golden Circle tour that includes the Gullfoss waterfall and Geysir hot springs and the Blue Lagoon.

Maria Reynisdottir, assistant project manager for Visit Reykjavik, explained that country is particularly good for short breaks.

She said: "The main draw is Iceland’s nature, the amazing landscape…and opportunities for adventure activities.

"Because of short distances you can really pack a lot into even a short break here."

Among the adventure activities readily available are snow mobiling, horse riding and whale watching.

Ms Reynisdottir also noted that the capital Reykjavic offers tourists plenty of opportunity to experience local culture.

Figures from Statistics Iceland show that the number of tourists making overnight stops in the country grew by 51 per cent from 2000 to 2007.

The overall number of foreign tourists visiting Iceland also increased by 60 per cent during the same period.

Active and Adventure – Air Activities – Enjoy an exhilarating helicopter ride over New York or a serene hot air balloon ride over the Australian outback.
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Freestyle divers take the plunge

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For those who like nothing better than watching grown men perform death-defying aquatic acrobatic feats on a religious holiday, this event could seem like a dream come true.

The spectacle of the cliff diving content on Mexico”s Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe is something to behold each year on December 12th.

Dozens of lithe, lean freestyle diving machines gather atop the perilous cliffs of La Quebrada near Acapulco in Mexico for the annual event, trying to outdo each other with their displays of guile, agility and, perhaps, downright lunacy.

The sight of tanned men in lycra flinging themselves to what looks like their inevitable, if very graceful doom attracts huge crowds, who nestle themselves among the rocky outcrops surrounding the venue all day long.

The highlight of the event is the notorious ”Ocean of Fire”, when a circle of gasoline is lit on the surface of the water below and a select few attempt to hit land in the drink without seriously scorching their Speedos.

The tradition of cliff diving at this locatin dates back to the 1930s and the original friendly rivalry has evolved into a fervent tourist attraction. Nowadays, fearless young men gather virtually every day at 1300 local time to perform for gasping onlookers.

Active and Adventure – Air Activities – Enjoy an exhilarating helicopter ride over New York or a serene hot air balloon ride over the Australian outback.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18842757-ADNFCR

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Global running series to which only the super-fit need apply

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There are marathons, there are Iron Man contests – and there is the Asics Eternal Running series.

On December 6th, Buenos Aires in Argentina plays host to the South American leg of this global racing series in which competitors are faced not only with a 12km circuit but a series of obstacles along the way.

Every 700m along the course, runners have to negotiate a variety of challenges, from cargo nets, inflatable barriers and all manner of other hindrances to their progress.

Having already completed stages in across the world in destinations such as Australia and Miami, the Argentinean event is the latest step in an event that grows in popularity every year.

Along with the main event, spectators will be kept entertained by the imaginative fancy dress on display and a variety of music playing along the way, as the course winds through some of the city”s most historic avenues and squares.

Active and Adventure – Air Activities – Enjoy an exhilarating helicopter ride over New York or a serene hot air balloon ride over the Australian outback.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18839244-ADNFCR

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Long-distance running takes it easy for a change

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The popular coastal resort of Negril, Jamaica becomes a little more energetic than usual with the arrival of the Reggae Marathon on December 6th.

One of the lesser known, but probably most beautiful long-distance running courses in the world, this event sees competitors race either the half or full marathon distance alongside some of the most picturesque scenery the island nation has to offer.

Of course, this being Jamaica the soulful sounds of reggae music are never too far away, with runners just as likely to find themselves motivated by the laid-back grooves of Bob Marley and The Wailers than encouraging shouts of support from the crowd.

Another major difference between this race and its fellow events in London, New York or Berlin is the pre-drawn parade of drum-wielding Rastafarians who chant traditional blessings to encourage those competing later in the day.

But much more than just a race, the event really becomes a festival with a Marathon Expo showcasing local artisan products held over the race weekend and all kinds of traditional food and drink on offer to keep spectators entertained before and after the event.

Jamaica attracts more then one million visitors each year, who come to enjoy the beautiful coastlines, lush rainforests and local culture – making tourism the number one industry on the island.

Active and Adventure – Air Activities – Enjoy an exhilarating helicopter ride over New York or a serene hot air balloon ride over the Australian outback.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18836570-ADNFCR

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Stanford Series puts big bucks into cricket

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The Stanford Super Series Twenty20 tournament will take place on the Caribbean island of Antigua later this month.

From October 25th to November 1st, teams from England and the West Indies will compete for a potential $20 million (£10 million) prize, or an equivalent of $1 million (£500,000) per winning player – big money for the sport of cricket.

While this most reduced form of the game has caused a raised eyebrow or two among traditionalists, there”s no denying that it has caught the imagination of many, particularly younger fans.

With the goal of attracting more youngsters into the sport, Twenty20 appears to have come of age with this kind of prize money up for grabs at such a high-profile event.

Of course the delights of the island of Antigua need no introduction. One of the most beautiful and best-preserved islands in the Caribbean, it is sure to be a fitting host for this exciting and groundbreaking new addition to the cricketing calendar.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18819329-ADNFCR

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Adventure travellers sleep solo

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Adventure travellers are increasingly requesting single rooms while on holiday as they seek a restful night”s sleep away from snorers and sleepwalkers, it has been revealed.

Research conducted by Explore Worldwide found that a decreasing number of travellers are happy to share accommodation with others in destinations in isolated areas around the globe, such as South America or Africa.

A company spokesman told the Times: "People aren”t willing to risk snorers, sleepwalkers or people who go to the bathroom ten times a night. They tend to be younger travellers who are used to their privacy and comfort."

The findings suggest that this might be a age-related issue, as older travellers tend to accept sharing as part of the experience, more willing to rough it and risk an interrupted night”s sleep.

"It”s a generational thing," said the spokesman, suggesting that as adventure travel increases in popularity attitudes towards what it should and shouldn”t entail are changing.

Active and Adventure – Air Activities – Enjoy an exhilarating helicopter ride over New York or a serene hot air balloon ride over the Australian outback.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18817080-ADNFCR

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Holidaymakers still travelling despite credit crunch

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The current economic downturn has not significantly affected the number of people going on holiday, an industry expert has said.

While many choose to downgrade their flights, choice of destination, standard of accommodation or even the length of their trip they”re still as keen as ever to take a break, according to Lonely Planet author David Else.

"The actual number of people (young and old) travelling the world or taking a simpler/shorter holiday has not been impacted much," he said.

He suggested travelling was almost a rite of passage for young graduates and those on a career break – "gap years for grown-ups" – looking for "a complete changes from everyday life at home".

The Lonely Planet series was one of the first series of books aimed at young, budget travellers and has grown to become one of the largest publishers in its field, with annual sales of more than six millions books on destinations worldwide.

Active and Adventure – Air Activities – Enjoy an exhilarating helicopter ride over New York or a serene hot air balloon ride over the Australian outback.
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One in four Brits are to leave travel insurance at home

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This year one in four British people plan to go on holiday without travel insurance, new research suggests.In a survey by American Express, 24 per cent of respondents named travel insurance as the main financial product they would give up as the economic downturn continued.This suggests that as many as 14.5 million Britons take risks by going on holiday without cover as they are forced to tighten their belts and reduce expenditure.Chris Rolland, of American Express Insurance Services, warned against the dangers of such a risk: “Should something happen, the current economic market means that the last thing Brits need now is an unexpected bill”.He added that consumers should opt for an annual policy as this would represent better value and “help them to avoid being financially stung while they should be relaxing on holiday.”The research was undertaken by YouGov, taking a weighted representative sample of 2,082 people.A survey by private bank Cater Allen suggest British travel habits are changing.Result show 54 per cent of Brits intend on doing some kind of activity on their holiday and 20 per cent go on away primarily for adventure.Active and Adventure – Air Activities – Enjoy an exhilarating helicopter ride over New York or a serene hot air balloon ride over the Australian outback.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18788976-ADNFCR

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Adventure travel continues to thrive

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Travel experiences that offer an alternative to package deals and beach holidays are increasing in popularity, new research has shown.

Whether it”s trekking the Inca trail in South America or visiting unspoilt beaches in the Far East, tourists are demanding more from their time spent abroad.

But its not just high-earning young professionals that are looking to fulfil their travel dreams.

A survey by North American tour operator Intrepid has revealed that adventure travel is growing across a wide demographic, notably among women and travellers in their 50s and 60s.

”Whether it’s riding public transportation…or travelling part of the way under their own steam, such as by bike or kayak," Intrepid”s Steve Larkin says the findings show people "want the real life experiences".

In addition to a range of destinations for their adventurous customers, operators are increasingly offering wider choice of types of experience – from the relaxing to the physically challenging.

What”s more, in line with consumers” increasing green concerns, many tourists are choosing ”low environmental impact” activities, with an emphasis on small group numbers and ethical travel.

Enjoy an exhilarating helicopter ride over New York or a serene hot air balloon ride over the Australian outback.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18786801-ADNFCR

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