Travel in Style with Sports Luggage

MW40_8938_NFL_ACCESSORIES_BILLS_MAINSports luggage is a specialized but increasingly growing market in travel. As more and more people have the means and motivation to travel, and as sports merchandise regains its popularity following the recession, the range of options has become broader over the last few years. Whether it’s to support your favourite team, to share your interests, or to promote yourself in your own sport, sports luggage is worth looking into if you’re a globetrotting sports fan.

Backpacks are some of the most popular types of sports luggage, for obvious reasons. They’re easy to carry around, they’re cheap, and they lend themselves well to all forms of travel—air, train, intercity, you name it. Sports logos can be printed across the body or in a more discreet size, depending on your preference. College team backpacks are especially popular among students and young adults, mostly because they’re also great for everyday use.

Duffel bags are also a great choice for those who have an active lifestyle, or who are into sports themselves. They’re roomy enough to carry bats, rackets, balls, shoes, skates, water bottles, and a change of clothes—everything you need for a full day of action. They also go easily into car trunks or back seats.  While they’re not as handy on a day-to-day basis as backpacks, they’re also useful for overnight stays and weekend trips.

For those who travel longer distances, trolley suitcases are a good choice. Bottom wheels allow for easy transport across airports, even for large weights. Several compartments allow you to organize your stuff, from clothes and large gadgets to smaller accessories like phones, notebooks, and passports. Sports logos also double as markers so you can easily find your luggage in the pile, which, as any frequent traveler will tell you, is a welcome convenience in the hustle and bustle of airports. Trolleys also come in several sizes so you can get just as much space as you need, whether it’s for a week visiting relatives or a month-long getaway overseas.

Many companies also now offer rolling duffel bags, which provide a convenient cross between hand-carried duffel and trolley bags. This allows you to carry your bag the way you see fit, whether it’s light enough to sling over your shoulder or is best pulled around on wheels. This is an increasingly popular option for young travelers, as it is both casual and stylish—and with a sports logo, it’s also a great way to show local support.

Whether for yourself or as a gift, it’s hard to go wrong with sports luggage. It shows off your tastes, makes air travel simpler, and allows you to carry your essentials around no matter where you are. Just find one that suits your needs and budget, and start traveling in style!

Lima’s Best Luxury Hotels

If you’ve done the whole Inca trail tour, seen the mountains and trekked through the Peruvian Amazon, chances are you’ll want a more mellow stay next time you’re in the country. Luckily, Lima has just as much to offer in terms of comfort and luxury as it does in history and culture. Like most world capitals, it has its fair share of world-class hotels and restaurants, with services right at par with their New York or London counterparts.

The Delfines Hotel is probably best known for its casino—one of the best in Peru—but non-poker enthusiasts will also appreciate the gourmet dining options, a view of the nearby scenic golf course, and cozy, professionally designed rooms. The hotel itself is named after its two resident dolphins, Yaku and Wayra, who are sure to charm visitors as much as the breathtaking views and impeccable service.

Art and culture enthusiasts will definitely appreciate a stay in the Country Club Lima Hotel, located in the upscale district of San Isidro. The boutique hotel is housed in a 1927 building featuring colonial artwork, marble baths, and a generous range of amenities including a health club, sauna, and outdoor pool. This gives visitors all the comfort of a large hotel while maintaining an intimate, personalized feel. All 75 suites feature elegant modern designs, and most have beautiful city views.

The Miraflores Park Hotel is the first choice for most visitors who want the best in comfort, luxury, and convenience. It offers the best access to most of the city’s top attractions, and has consistently been recognized for its service and facilities. Although geared largely toward business travelers—its business amenities are the best in the country—it also offers excellent views of the Pacific Ocean from many of its rooms and includes a fitness center, spa, and outdoor pool. It’s also a great takeoff point for many activities including biking, golf, and theatre and museum visits.

The Casa Andina is also a top choice for art appreciators, with its exclusive art collection featuring the work of many contemporary local artists alongside classic pieces. The 148 rooms are spread across 17 floors, and most have great views of the city and the Pacific. All rooms have flat-screen TVs and a luxurious modern design. Visitors can enjoy a wide range of amenities, which include a heated pool, terrace, state-of-the-art gym, massage room, and a range of business centers and meeting rooms.

 

Packing for the Peruvian Amazon

Peru’s share of the Amazon jungle is a natural hotspot for adventure seekers and nature travel enthusiasts. Surprisingly, however, a lot of them come unprepared for the trip—and this can put a damper in what’s otherwise an amazing experience. If you’re planning a trip to the Peruvian Amazon, make sure you’re well prepared—after all, you’ll be miles away from any phone booth, drugstore, or consulate. Here are some things worth keeping in mind.

Medications and insurance: First, make sure you have adequate travel insurance on hand, as medical treatment can be costly. Malaria vaccines usually take ten days to kick in, so plan in advance. Bring medications for common discomforts, such as aspirin for headaches, antibiotics for cuts and scrapes, and antihistamines for insect bites and allergies. You can ask your doctor for a list of recommendations when you come for your vaccine.

Skin protection: Bring a good sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher, especially if you’re going in the high summer. Insects are common year-round, so a good insect repellent is essential—experts recommend one with a high DEET content as opposed to “natural” products like citronella, which are much less effective.

Footwear: You’ll probably be doing a lot of walking, so comfortable shoes are essential. Your best bet is a pair of tennis shoes or sneakers, or anything light and canvas-topped that’s already broken in. You may also want to bring an old pair you can afford to lose for when you have to wade in water or trudge on muddy trails. Rubber or gum boots may also be necessary. You can get most of these in Peru, but size options may be limited.

Vision: Waterproof lightweight binoculars can help you see more of the wildlife. If you’re not sure of the weather, get fog-resistant ones. Polarized sunglasses are also useful for really bright days, as the sun can sometimes be too strong for comfort. Alternatively, you can bring a wide-brimmed hat—it provides shade and also comes in handy when it rains.

Clothing: Much of it depends on the season, but since most tourists come in the summer, lightweight clothing is recommended. Jeans aren’t ideal as they’re heavy and take a while to dry. Stick to breathable fabrics such as cotton, and bring both short and long-sleeved shirts as temperature changes can be drastic throughout the day. Other items to consider include wool socks (great for padding rubber boots), swimsuits, and a light jacket or parka if you’re traveling in the highlands.

Donations: Although not essential, gifts to small villages you pass on the way will be greatly appreciated. Books (in Spanish), school supplies, clothes, and food are some of the more popular donations.

The Importance of Travel Insurance

Taking a trip abroad on holiday is one of the most enjoyable activities that anyone can undertake, and perhaps the very fact that people associate it so much with pleasure and relaxation is one of the reasons why many people visiting another country fail to secure the insurance they need to protect them. Although nobody wants to think about potentially suffering an injury while on holiday abroad – or having their valuable possessions stolen – the fact is, this kind of thing can easily happen when in a foreign country, just as it can in this one, and without insurance they will be liable for medical costs or those of replacing lost items.

This is where travel insurance, of the kind offered by major insurance providers such as Endsleigh, is so important for anyone planning to spend time in a foreign country. This kind of insurance is designed to offer protection to those traveling abroad for a range of potential problems that they could encounter either before during or after the trip. The kinds of situations that cheap travel insurance can offer protection against include: the airline company that a holiday flight is booked with going out of business, theft of valuable items while on holiday, loss of luggage due to negligence on the part of the airline company, and medical expenses incurred as a result of injury or illness sustained abroad.

This latter point particularly illustrates the importance of travel insurance, as it is bad enough if either yourself or a member of your family suffers injury or illness on holiday abroad – but this situation can be a great deal worse if you do not have travel insurance and are thus liable for the costs of any medical care and expenses required to get back to the UK. Health care systems vary considerably between different countries, and there is no guarantee that another country will offer health care for those who cannot afford to pay the costs of it.

Mystic Tourism in Peru

Mystic tourism has a very New Age sound to it. One would imagine a group of hippies gathered round a shaman, caught up in a ritual straight out of a campy 90s thriller. But make no mistake about it: the term has been gaining credibility throughout South America, drawing not just the adventurous but the learned and the curious. And for many, there’s no better place to kick off this journey than Peru, where history and nature are connected almost spiritually in the thickness of the Amazon.

At the center of this practice is ayahuasca, an indigenous herb with an effect not unlike that of magic mushrooms. It’s a hallucinogen, but rather than distort your view of reality, it makes it clearer. One is said to have a heightened sense of awareness, all five senses taking in his surroundings. This gives the feeling that the traveler is one with nature, offering a form of relaxation that’s not quite like a day at the spa. It opens doors for meditation, reflection, mental healing, and all manner of possibilities.

The practice isn’t new; its main proponent outside South America is probably William Burroughs, who wrote about it in his book The Yagé Letters. Here he details his trip to the Amazon jungle to find the elusive herb, locally known as yagé, which he said would be his “final fix.” Curiosities were piqued, not to anyone’s great surprise, and locals were quick to rise to the occasion. They began singling out areas where ayahusca grew in abundance, and arranging trips to the most peaceful, scenic parts of the forest.

Ayahuasca has been used by American Indian healers as early as the 1770s, purportedly to find “lost souls and bodies.” The name translates to “the vine of souls.”  A typical tour takes you deep in the jungle, where nature lends itself well to quiet musings and meditation. People are encouraged, before taking the herb, to ask themselves a question about their career, future, or something equally important—and assured that at the end of the experience they would have an answer.

There’s no telling whether mystic tourism will catch on, or whether it will even push past scientific skeptics and become mainstream. For the moment it’s an exotic alternative to the usual route, drawing mostly people who want to take the road less traveled. One thing’s for sure: with locals eagerly offering it, more than a few curious souls will be waiting to give it a try.

Travel in Style with Sports Luggage

MW40_8938_NFL_ACCESSORIES_BILLS_MAINSports luggage is a specialized but increasingly growing market in travel. As more and more people have the means and motivation to travel, and as sports merchandise regains its popularity following the recession, the range of options has become broader over the last few years. Whether it’s to support your favourite team, to share your interests, or to promote yourself in your own sport, sports luggage is worth looking into if you’re a globetrotting sports fan.

Backpacks are some of the most popular types of sports luggage, for obvious reasons. They’re easy to carry around, they’re cheap, and they lend themselves well to all forms of travel—air, train, intercity, you name it. Sports logos can be printed across the body or in a more discreet size, depending on your preference. College team backpacks are especially popular among students and young adults, mostly because they’re also great for everyday use.

Duffel bags are also a great choice for those who have an active lifestyle, or who are into sports themselves. They’re roomy enough to carry bats, rackets, balls, shoes, skates, water bottles, and a change of clothes—everything you need for a full day of action. They also go easily into car trunks or back seats.  While they’re not as handy on a day-to-day basis as backpacks, they’re also useful for overnight stays and weekend trips.

For those who travel longer distances, trolley suitcases are a good choice. Bottom wheels allow for easy transport across airports, even for large weights. Several compartments allow you to organize your stuff, from clothes and large gadgets to smaller accessories like phones, notebooks, and passports. Sports logos also double as markers so you can easily find your luggage in the pile, which, as any frequent traveler will tell you, is a welcome convenience in the hustle and bustle of airports. Trolleys also come in several sizes so you can get just as much space as you need, whether it’s for a week visiting relatives or a month-long getaway overseas.

Many companies also now offer rolling duffel bags, which provide a convenient cross between hand-carried duffel and trolley bags. This allows you to carry your bag the way you see fit, whether it’s light enough to sling over your shoulder or is best pulled around on wheels. This is an increasingly popular option for young travelers, as it is both casual and stylish—and with a sports logo, it’s also a great way to show local support.

Whether for yourself or as a gift, it’s hard to go wrong with sports luggage. It shows off your tastes, makes air travel simpler, and allows you to carry your essentials around no matter where you are. Just find one that suits your needs and budget, and start traveling in style!

Lima’s Best Luxury Hotels

If you’ve done the whole Inca trail tour, seen the mountains and trekked through the Peruvian Amazon, chances are you’ll want a more mellow stay next time you’re in the country. Luckily, Lima has just as much to offer in terms of comfort and luxury as it does in history and culture. Like most world capitals, it has its fair share of world-class hotels and restaurants, with services right at par with their New York or London counterparts.

The Delfines Hotel is probably best known for its casino—one of the best in Peru—but non-poker enthusiasts will also appreciate the gourmet dining options, a view of the nearby scenic golf course, and cozy, professionally designed rooms. The hotel itself is named after its two resident dolphins, Yaku and Wayra, who are sure to charm visitors as much as the breathtaking views and impeccable service.

Art and culture enthusiasts will definitely appreciate a stay in the Country Club Lima Hotel, located in the upscale district of San Isidro. The boutique hotel is housed in a 1927 building featuring colonial artwork, marble baths, and a generous range of amenities including a health club, sauna, and outdoor pool. This gives visitors all the comfort of a large hotel while maintaining an intimate, personalized feel. All 75 suites feature elegant modern designs, and most have beautiful city views.

The Miraflores Park Hotel is the first choice for most visitors who want the best in comfort, luxury, and convenience. It offers the best access to most of the city’s top attractions, and has consistently been recognized for its service and facilities. Although geared largely toward business travelers—its business amenities are the best in the country—it also offers excellent views of the Pacific Ocean from many of its rooms and includes a fitness center, spa, and outdoor pool. It’s also a great takeoff point for many activities including biking, golf, and theatre and museum visits.

The Casa Andina is also a top choice for art appreciators, with its exclusive art collection featuring the work of many contemporary local artists alongside classic pieces. The 148 rooms are spread across 17 floors, and most have great views of the city and the Pacific. All rooms have flat-screen TVs and a luxurious modern design. Visitors can enjoy a wide range of amenities, which include a heated pool, terrace, state-of-the-art gym, massage room, and a range of business centers and meeting rooms.

 

Packing for the Peruvian Amazon

Peru’s share of the Amazon jungle is a natural hotspot for adventure seekers and nature travel enthusiasts. Surprisingly, however, a lot of them come unprepared for the trip—and this can put a damper in what’s otherwise an amazing experience. If you’re planning a trip to the Peruvian Amazon, make sure you’re well prepared—after all, you’ll be miles away from any phone booth, drugstore, or consulate. Here are some things worth keeping in mind.

Medications and insurance: First, make sure you have adequate travel insurance on hand, as medical treatment can be costly. Malaria vaccines usually take ten days to kick in, so plan in advance. Bring medications for common discomforts, such as aspirin for headaches, antibiotics for cuts and scrapes, and antihistamines for insect bites and allergies. You can ask your doctor for a list of recommendations when you come for your vaccine.

Skin protection: Bring a good sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher, especially if you’re going in the high summer. Insects are common year-round, so a good insect repellent is essential—experts recommend one with a high DEET content as opposed to “natural” products like citronella, which are much less effective.

Footwear: You’ll probably be doing a lot of walking, so comfortable shoes are essential. Your best bet is a pair of tennis shoes or sneakers, or anything light and canvas-topped that’s already broken in. You may also want to bring an old pair you can afford to lose for when you have to wade in water or trudge on muddy trails. Rubber or gum boots may also be necessary. You can get most of these in Peru, but size options may be limited.

Vision: Waterproof lightweight binoculars can help you see more of the wildlife. If you’re not sure of the weather, get fog-resistant ones. Polarized sunglasses are also useful for really bright days, as the sun can sometimes be too strong for comfort. Alternatively, you can bring a wide-brimmed hat—it provides shade and also comes in handy when it rains.

Clothing: Much of it depends on the season, but since most tourists come in the summer, lightweight clothing is recommended. Jeans aren’t ideal as they’re heavy and take a while to dry. Stick to breathable fabrics such as cotton, and bring both short and long-sleeved shirts as temperature changes can be drastic throughout the day. Other items to consider include wool socks (great for padding rubber boots), swimsuits, and a light jacket or parka if you’re traveling in the highlands.

Donations: Although not essential, gifts to small villages you pass on the way will be greatly appreciated. Books (in Spanish), school supplies, clothes, and food are some of the more popular donations.

The Importance of Travel Insurance

Taking a trip abroad on holiday is one of the most enjoyable activities that anyone can undertake, and perhaps the very fact that people associate it so much with pleasure and relaxation is one of the reasons why many people visiting another country fail to secure the insurance they need to protect them. Although nobody wants to think about potentially suffering an injury while on holiday abroad – or having their valuable possessions stolen – the fact is, this kind of thing can easily happen when in a foreign country, just as it can in this one, and without insurance they will be liable for medical costs or those of replacing lost items.

This is where travel insurance, of the kind offered by major insurance providers such as Endsleigh, is so important for anyone planning to spend time in a foreign country. This kind of insurance is designed to offer protection to those traveling abroad for a range of potential problems that they could encounter either before during or after the trip. The kinds of situations that cheap travel insurance can offer protection against include: the airline company that a holiday flight is booked with going out of business, theft of valuable items while on holiday, loss of luggage due to negligence on the part of the airline company, and medical expenses incurred as a result of injury or illness sustained abroad.

This latter point particularly illustrates the importance of travel insurance, as it is bad enough if either yourself or a member of your family suffers injury or illness on holiday abroad – but this situation can be a great deal worse if you do not have travel insurance and are thus liable for the costs of any medical care and expenses required to get back to the UK. Health care systems vary considerably between different countries, and there is no guarantee that another country will offer health care for those who cannot afford to pay the costs of it.

Mystic Tourism in Peru

Mystic tourism has a very New Age sound to it. One would imagine a group of hippies gathered round a shaman, caught up in a ritual straight out of a campy 90s thriller. But make no mistake about it: the term has been gaining credibility throughout South America, drawing not just the adventurous but the learned and the curious. And for many, there’s no better place to kick off this journey than Peru, where history and nature are connected almost spiritually in the thickness of the Amazon.

At the center of this practice is ayahuasca, an indigenous herb with an effect not unlike that of magic mushrooms. It’s a hallucinogen, but rather than distort your view of reality, it makes it clearer. One is said to have a heightened sense of awareness, all five senses taking in his surroundings. This gives the feeling that the traveler is one with nature, offering a form of relaxation that’s not quite like a day at the spa. It opens doors for meditation, reflection, mental healing, and all manner of possibilities.

The practice isn’t new; its main proponent outside South America is probably William Burroughs, who wrote about it in his book The Yagé Letters. Here he details his trip to the Amazon jungle to find the elusive herb, locally known as yagé, which he said would be his “final fix.” Curiosities were piqued, not to anyone’s great surprise, and locals were quick to rise to the occasion. They began singling out areas where ayahusca grew in abundance, and arranging trips to the most peaceful, scenic parts of the forest.

Ayahuasca has been used by American Indian healers as early as the 1770s, purportedly to find “lost souls and bodies.” The name translates to “the vine of souls.”  A typical tour takes you deep in the jungle, where nature lends itself well to quiet musings and meditation. People are encouraged, before taking the herb, to ask themselves a question about their career, future, or something equally important—and assured that at the end of the experience they would have an answer.

There’s no telling whether mystic tourism will catch on, or whether it will even push past scientific skeptics and become mainstream. For the moment it’s an exotic alternative to the usual route, drawing mostly people who want to take the road less traveled. One thing’s for sure: with locals eagerly offering it, more than a few curious souls will be waiting to give it a try.

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