Saturday, February 28, 2009

Flashpacking the World

The first question on many travelers’ lips may well be: What is flashpacking? Who are these mysterious flashpackers?

Flashpacking is really just a (new-ish) term used to describe a fairly old way of traveling.
Many flashpackers are actually just the growing number of ‘techno-travelers’ out there. They’ve got iPods and digital cameras. They’re traveling with their laptops. They want to blog and broadcast live video streams of their travel experiences, so they need free WiFi at their hostel.

While technology is a key element of flashpacking, though, it’s not the whole picture, by any means. A flashpacker is essentially just the usual backpacker or independent traveler, looking for something a bit more upmarket from their digs.

They want all the flexibility of the independent traveler – the unfixed itinerary which allows you to think on your feet and go wherever the fancy takes you – yet they also want (just a little!) of the look and feel of a boutique hotel.

But they don’t want your standard budget hotel: rather, they’re after the advantages of a good, old-fashioned cheap hostel, with just a bit more, well, luxury.

And even the most hardcore backpackers among us can do with a bit of luxury from time to time…
Via: HostelBookers

Flashpacker Travel -

Six of the World’s Finest Flashpacking Hostels:

1. The Boutique Hostel:
Daddy Long Legs, Cape Town, South Africa
Every room in this self-styled ‘Independent Travelers’ Hotel’ has been designed by a different local artist. Perfect for traveling couples looking for something a bit different, the Daddy Long Legs is inspiring, challenging and exciting in equal measures.

2. The Hi-Tech Hostel:
Baxpax Downtown Hostel Hotel, Berlin, Germany
Berlin, Baxpax and state of the art just seem to go together so effortlessly. Its bright colored bedrooms, hip, ultramodern feel and a consideration for all of the needs of the modern backpacker mark Baxpax out as a techno-traveler’s dream.
Among the gadgets, gizmos and funky facilities there’s internet (of course), big-screen movies and sports screenings, and a lavish roof terrace with a dipping pool and a sauna. Baxpax isn’t so much a hostel as a sort of lavish, futuristic backpacking dream.

3. The Romantic Getaway Hostel:
Animal Farm, Afalst, Netherlands
Don’t let the Orwellian name put you off: Animal Farm is warm, comfortable and perfect for a romantic retreat. It’s got all the facilities you could possibly need (internet, big screen cinema), along with its cozy rooms and camp fire!
There’s a pleasingly homemade feel to its design and atmosphere so you’ll feel perfectly at home tucking up in front of the fire with a good book. And the best thing? With beds starting at 12 Euros a night, this is real champagne accommodation on a beer budget!

4. The Eco Hostel:
Cel – (Centre Ecologic Ilemena) Hostel, Girona, Spain
Away from the unceasing activity of Barcelona, rural Catalunya is absolutely stunning. Also just a stone’s throw from Gerona, ecotravelers and the environmentally-minded will definitely be interested in the perma-cultural experiments going on at this hostelling Eden.
The hiking in the surrounding area is absolutely fantastic, and after a hard day in the great outdoors, lush bedrooms and delicious, home cooked organic meals await.

5. The Cruise Ship Hostel:
Rygerfjord Hotel and Hostel, Stockholm, Sweden
Fancy spending a night on a cruise ship but without any of the seasickness and terrible entertainment? Then the Rygerfjord Hotel and Hostel is just the place. Naturally, being in Stockholm, there’s hardly a cheesy, cabaret-style club in sight, just cutting edge design and über-cool nightlife.
A fantastic boat hostel, the Rygerfjord Hotel and Hostel is a genuine one-off. Its luxurious top deck bar boasts views across Lake Mälaren while, below deck, cozy cabins with free WiFi make it almost as self-contained as being at sea!

6. The Luxury Spa Hostel:
Tsuruya Ryokan, Kinosaki Spa Resort, Japan
Japan may not be the cheapest travel destination in the world, but what it does so well is peace, calm, more than just a little luxury… And wonderfully relaxing hot springs!
With its Japanese-style rooms, fusing traditional architecture with an achingly chic, modernist feel, the Tsuruya Ryokan guesthouse is one of the very flashest of flashpacking hostels. Then there are the hot springs and the nearby temples to explore… Hostelling really doesn’t get much better than this. - VIP Nightlife & Travel Portal, Weblog, Exclusive Events!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Magnificent Ibiza

Ibiza is a very popular destination for people who loves to soak under the sun, watch the beautiful sunset, enjoy hard kicking drinks, hot rich girls and of course the extreme nightlife madness!

Known as the perfect summer destination for teenagers who loves to spend hundreds of pounds,
Ibiza is not the place to get big bargains. Tourists can get discounts but not as much as from other destinations. If you are travelling with your family or friends, organized tourist operators could be the best choice. But if you are willing to go around the island searching for some place to stay, Ibiza also have affordable beach bungalows or holiday apartments that you can choose from in keeping with your holiday budget.
The island is two hours away from the airport via taxi or hiring a private transport. I suggest you guys to go for car rental services which will be truly handy if you plan to stay for a couple of weeks. But then its up to you if you choose to explore the place by walking around rather than driving a car. However, hiring a car requires extra driving care, as the locals are terrible drivers. Many tourists have been run off the road trying to avoid deadly head-on collisions. New road construction has led to the temporary development of detour roads which are poorly marked and dangerous. During the summer months many tourist drivers under the influence of alcohol, pose a potential threat.

Most people come to Ibiza because of its magnificent resort and energetic nightlife. But just in case you are the type that likes to explore and discover, I suggest that you go for a stroll around the west coast where you can find the mystical island rock called Es Vedra. If you're lucky to find a local to show the secret location of the hidden cove, you will see the splendor of Atlantis or the old part of the Ibiza town. The Bar Anita in San Carlos, is also worth to visit. It contains a rich history of artists and writers of the 50s, 60s and 70s. It is where they used to collect their cheques and stop for a drink. If you plan on a sight seeing trip you should try hiring someone who knows all the best places in Ibiza.

Ibiza is also popular because of its spicy and exotic Spanish food served in the most romantic and stylish restaurants in the island. The food are prepared by either master Spanish chefs or International chefs who are eager to spoil your senses. You can either enjoy a beach side breakfast or dine in for an exquisite dinner under the moonlight.

I won't tell much about the nightlife in Ibiza looks like. Instead I will display an unveiled Ibiza where you'll get acquainted with the pura vida Ibiza style - a wild and wet lifestyle of unrestrained emotion and all out fun. Regardless of age, tourist coming to Ibiza will enjoy the electricity of how the island turns into a one giant party place. If I have to describe the feeling to be there from 7pm - 4am, what I experienced is Magic!
Via: Jessica Nielson - VIP Nightlife & Travel Portal, Weblog, Exclusive Events!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Philippine Hotels Classifications in the Country

The only issue with these high-end hotels in the country is that the interested visitor and traveler should be ready to pay up the extra cost of the services at these hotels. For those looking to stay at luxury hotels in the country, then there are a number of suggested luxury hotels.

Here is a listing of seven of the often-suggested luxury hotels in the Philippines:

Pan Pacific Manila, Manila

Amanpulo, Pamalican Island

All these hotels are known for their classic luxury and super luxury, and just a sampling of some of the better hotels in the country in terms of luxury that it provides to residents. Some of the best hotels are found in Boracay Island. And to fully enjoy the things that the island has to offer, the traveler should take into account his accommodation in the area. It’s best to know the island hotels in Boracay on order to get the best experience in the island. These island hotels are plentiful in the area, and hotels here are categorized into high-end ones and to those hotels that can meet even the smallest budget. Of course, to get the maximum experience, the top Boracay Island hotels should be priority on the said list of choices. The best in the island of Boracay can be found in the White Beach. The White Beach is a 4 kilometer strip of fine white sand beaches. This trip is well-known in other parts of the world, in fact the Boracay Beach and this part of the island was named in 2007 as one of the ten most beautiful beaches in the world. This was the result of the survey conducted by Yahoo Travel. In the same listing by Yahoo Travel, most of the beaches that were listed were located in Hawaii and in mainland United States and it was the island as the sole entry from Asia. This says a lot about the island as a haven for tourists. A good number of the best hotels in the area are found in White Beach. White Beach is the main tourism beach of the area and this is over 4 kilometers long and the shoreline is lined with resorts, restaurants, bars and of course hotels. There are around 40 hotels in the White Beach area and these hotels will meet the demands of the travelers of different tastes and budget range.
Via: Jose Maria Abada - VIP Nightlife & Travel Portal, Weblog, Exclusive Events!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

All-Night Fun in Aruba

As Aruba is one of the most vibrant, action-packed islands in the Caribbean, it is no surprise that Aruba is also one of the few islands where visitors can truly have fun around the clock. Aruba's capital city - Oranjestad - is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the Caribbean and home to numerous restaurants, clubs, theatres and even casinos. As a result, tourists in Aruba can find a number of dining and entertainment options to keep the excitement going from sunset to sunrise.

The numerous restaurants and cafes of Oranjestad provide the best way to start a night in Aruba. Whether you are looking for a romantic dinner or a meal accompanied by live music, there are plenty of great options throughout the city. As Aruba attracts an array of international tourists, the restaurants of Oranjestad feature a wide variety of exotic cuisine. However, many of Aruba's favorite eateries boast a uniquely Caribbean flavor, including menus created with fresh seafood as the focus. Many of Oranjestad's restaurants also feature outdoor dining to allow visitors an opportunity to enjoy the island's scenery and perfect evening weather.

After dinner, many visitors to Aruba make their way to one of the exciting live shows that are produced throughout the year. Aruba's most popular show is the top-rated Let's Go Latin at Renaissance's Crystal Theater. The over-the-top musical takes the stage every Monday through Saturday at 9 PM. In addition to Let's Go Latin, tourists can also visit numerous other stage shows throughout Oranjestad, including several influenced by the island's rich cultural history.

When the shows let out, the next stop for the adventurous tourist should be one of Aruba's bars or clubs. Regardless of your nightlife tastes, Aruba will have a hotspot that caters to your desires. Older travelers often visit Aruba's classy cigar bars and jazz clubs, where top-shelf drinks can be enjoyed while soaking up Caribbean-tinged tunes. Younger travelers will want to check out some of Aruba's boisterous night clubs for late-night dancing and locally-inspired cocktails. While some of the clubs in Aruba cater to American and European tourists with popular music and well-known drink options, there are plenty of friendly bars and dance halls that revel in the Caribbean setting and allow visitors to enjoy an exotic night on the town.

After the bars and clubs close in the wee hours, those hoping to keep the night alive can head over to the Crystal Casino, Aruba's only 24-hour casino. Located only steps from the beach at the Renaissance Aruba Resort in Oranjestad, the Crystal Casino offers all the best table games and video machines found in the casinos of Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Even if you don't want to put your money on the line, the Crystal Casino can be a great place to mingle with fellow travelers or simply observe some late-night excitement.

As sunrise approaches, the committed night owls begin making their way to the cafes that line the beaches of Oranjestad. Not only can you watch the sunrise over the city, but you can enjoy breakfast or coffee right on the beach. If you are waking early, these cafes and coffee shops are also a great place to plan your day in Aruba or catch up on the news.

Whether you are in search of a non-stop party or simply want to enjoy the cultured pleasures of Aruba's nightlife, this exciting island always has the perfect adventure in store. Though there is so much to see and do during the daylight hours in Aruba, a trip to some of Oranjestad's late-night hotspots will allow you to experience another side of this vibrant Caribbean destination. Via: Justin Burch - VIP Nightlife & Travel Portal, Weblog, and Exclusive Events!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Soaking in the Culture in Dubai

In the decades after the first oil crunch of 1973, when the Arab world took different directions of development as a result of vastly improved oil revenues, Dubai opened itself to the cultural influences of the West. In consequence, Dubai became an amalgam of things Western in a Middle Eastern setting and background, a hodge-podge of Eastern and Western cultures. It is familiarly westernized, yet retains that delightfully quaint Mideast color and flavor. It is homogenous in its diversity, rather like an arabesque of harmonious colors, or the short skirt and the abayah coexisting in a symbiotic relationship.

As illustration, Dubai as a Muslim country celebrates Eid al Fitr, the last day of Ramadan, as a joyous occasion, but also welcomes the Dubai Shopping Festival that attracts more than four million visitors annually, with almost equal importance. During the festival, just exploring the giant malls like the Mall of the Emirates, BurJuman, the Ibn Battuta Mall and the Deira City Center can exhaust one's energies in a week, but will certainly increase the appetite to shop for the myriad items of every form and value. The Dubai Summer Surprises, an event of entertainments, is as valued as the National Day, anniversary of the establishment of the United Arab Emirates to which Dubai belongs.

Dubai's laissez-faire attitude towards life is exemplified by its cuisine. There is of course the Arabian food, which is famous and well-liked, and can be found in small cafes as well as luxury restaurants in many large hotels, which of course, will offer European, American and some Asian food as well. Arabian cuisine has a good following on top of 'first-timer' tourists sampling the preparations. What is significant is that Chinese cooking is also very popular, and so does the fast-food -or ready-to-eat- style of dining, in the emirate and city. This indicates cosmopolitan tastes in the locals as well as visitors.

Pork is not very welcome to the locals but is available to outsiders and tourists under certain terms and in specific places. So is alcohol, but to imbibe wines or liquor, a permit must be obtained from the authorities. Night clubs, bars and discos are mostly located inside the larger hotels due to the liquor restrictions. There are -and must be-limits, for after all, Dubai is still Arabian and Muslim.

For entertainment, Hollywood and Bollywood are both very much accepted; the annual Dubai International Film Festival enticing film personalities from the West to interact in a pleasant atmosphere with celebrities from the Arab world. For music, Santana, Celine Dion, Elton John, Phil Collins, Aerosmith, Diana Haddad and some others have performed in Dubai, aside from several metal and rock artists who performed during the Dubai Rock Festival.

Cricket and football are the most popular sports in Dubai, and that bespeaks of Continental influence. Tennis and golf are also played extensively, sometimes by world-famous figures.

So it is very reasonable for the New York Times, in a recent survey, to name Dubai as one most popular travel destination for 2008. Go to Dubai and see why it is very much justified. Via: Huzaili Aris - VIP Nightlife & Travel, Weblog, and Exclusive Events!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Tao Philosophy of Independent Travel

Photo: Flashpacking The World -

What is an Independent Traveler?

There is a certain philosophy that the independent traveler adheres to. While the tourist looks for comfort, convenience and a home away from home, the independent traveler prefers to become part of the culture as much as possible. The independent traveler likes to leave home behind.

There are many different terms in use to describe independent travelers. A hobo, in this sense, is someone without a home, spends very little or no money, and travels to work. A backpacker is a traveler on a budget who's luggage is usually a single backpack. A flashpacker has more money to spend than the hobo or backpacker, but still prefers the lifestyle of independent travel.

Regardless of the term used, independent travelers share a common philosophy.

The Independent Traveler:

1) Does Not Like to be Pampered

Independent travelers have a distaste for typical, over-priced packaged tours. They avoid rigid itineraries, instead preferring to plan their own trips. Rather than being pampered during their travels, independents feel more comfortable on their own. When one is told when to eat, where to go and how long to stay, it is like putting a noose on experience. Independents rely on their own judgment, they do not let others think for them or tell them what to do.

2) Spends Less Money to Enjoy More

The less money an independent traveler spends, the more he or she enjoys the trip. Big spending tends to isolate the traveler from new, vibrant experience. Rather than getting caught up in the consumer trap of buying expensive souvenirs, paying for useless accessories and the "convenience" of doing what you are told to do on a tour, independents do more of the things they enjoy doing, rather than buying things that distracts one from the experience of the trip.

3) Travels Light

Traveling with lots of luggage is a huge inconvenience that costs the traveler time, money and worry. All those things that tourists take with them on vacation actually impedes the trip, rather than enhance it. One of the purposes of travel is to enjoy what is there, not what is at home. Traveling light provides more freedom for the traveler and instead of baby-sitting all those "important" material possessions one can focus on experiencing life.

4) Becomes Immersed in the Culture

It is very difficult, even impossible, to experience a new place or culture when you are sheltered in a tour bus, or in a fancy hotel. The only way to maximize the experience of new things is to step into them and participate with an open mind. One travels to a foreign place to experience the foreign. Yet, too often the tourist erects shields to become isolated from the foreign experiences sought. The independent traveler does not fear what is foreign, but seeks it out and slowly, courteously, attempts to let it become a part of his or her life.

5) Goes with the Flow

Worry kills enjoyment. Time schedules, tasks and material things contribute to worry. When worry pounds away in your head you cannot truly experience what is there. It is easy to see with the eyes, it is an art to understand with the mind. The independent traveler knows that not everything always goes to plan; a flight might be cancelled, a bus could be delayed, the weather may not be ideal. With a tight schedule these things could ruin a trip. With flexibility one can actually learn to enjoy them. Sometimes things happen for a reason. Sometimes you can find without seeking.

6) Believes that a Vacation is an Education

When one continues to do the same things one has always done, he or she will continue to receive the same results. Travel to the independent is more than a vacation, it is an education. Independent travel allows the individual to try new things, to see beyond one's mental and cultural background, to experience, to learn and to grow. When one travels with an open mind learning becomes a delightful activity. Acquaintances learn from the traveler, the traveler learns from them, and therefore learns more about his or her person than otherwise would be possible. Learning extends beyond the four walls of a classroom to include the world.

7) Enjoys Freedom

To achieve freedom one does not need more. One needs less. The independent traveler has very few time constraints, material possessions, itineraries and lists of things to do. The independent is free to take advantage of any opportunity that comes along. The independent may stay up late to watch the sun set, wander into an isolated village, discover healing rituals of a disappearing culture, enjoy extra time with old friends and accept the gracious hospitality of new ones. The independent traveler understands that baggage should be left at home.

Leave things behind to take the world with you. Via: Thomas Carroll - VIP Nightlife & Travel Portal, Weblog, and Exclusive Events!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Bars and Nightlife Make Phoenix a Great Travel Destination

Photo: E4 Nightclub Scottsdale

Phoenix is a fast moving and very fast growing city so when Phoenicians are looking to let their hair down and unwind, they also have some of one of the best bar scenes in the country to take advantage of. Here we'll take a look at some of the best bars in town where you can kick back and relax in some of the best bars in town without having to worry about whether you have to try them all to find a good one for you.

The Merc Bar - Phoenix

This is a dark and almost hidden bar which is highly popular with the upscale over-30's crowd as well as being the hang out for several celebrities and pro-athletes based in the city. Greg Wheeler designed the Merc Bar and remains the owner today which boasts a specialist Martini that will knock your socks off. It has a relaxed atmosphere for an upscale venue and you will find the dress code to be smart casual with great looking patrons as well as great music that transcends the hip-hop techno teeny kid scene. This is a bar for grown-ups looking for a good time.

Yucca Tap Room -Tempe

This is the bar to go hang out in when you are looking for great local bands and a rough house feel. Though it has the "old man's" hangout tag, don't let that fool you - there is a great welcoming crowd of rowdies, professionals and musicians and though you can enjoy a beer in peace don't expect it to be quiet! In addition to the live entertainment, you can also enjoy some of the most arcane bar games ever invented at the Yucca where Rednecks cross swords with Hippy regulars and Bikers dancing with businessmen. The Yucca is a bar for all seasons and people and is a place to kick back, enjoy a drink or three and soak in the local ambience.

Jackrabbit Supper Club - Scottsdale

This is a small but very popular venue which crosses burlesque nightclub performances and va-va-voom showgirls with an upscale nightclub for dancing and socializing. The showgirls are classically trained dancers and the whole venue stops to watch the performances while there is outdoor seating to chill out and still enjoy the music provided by the live band. The Jackrabbit also operates a door policy which does not allow anyone in - dress to impress only!

Amsterdam - Phoenix

You'll find Amsterdam in downtown Phoenix and this is a luxurious establishment though a newcomer to the Phoenix/Valley bar scene. This is an upscale watering hole with marble floors and ornate furnishings while your ears will not be pounded with loud urban music that prevents a conversation from taking place. There is also a piano bar where you can get signature drink specialties such as the watermelon and appletini. The Amsterdam also has become the play away home for female illusionists looking to hone their act in between Las Vegas appearances and you will find a wide variety of quality entertainment under their roof.
Via: Lawrence J Reaves - VIP Nightlife & Travel Portal, Weblog, and Exclusive Events!