When was the last time you went to the beach? What did you do there? If you are anything like this writer then you probably dabbled a little in the ocean, stuck your toes in the sand and took in some sun then headed right back to the hotel or restaurant. Well, maybe after taking a few selfies just to document that memory (and of course show it off on Instagram).

Did you know that there is more you can do at the beach than just sunbathe and take selfies? Yes, with a little creativity you can make a day of it. Don’t be afraid to bring the kids – they would love some of these activities too. With that being said, here are some of the most exciting and fun activities to do at the beach.

Fun Activities for the Beach

1. Play Beach Volleyball or Football

Have you ever tried playing an active sport at the beach? First of all, you need to know that the sand goes everywhere – and we mean EVERYWHERE! However, that’s not the problem; it’s not even a problem if you shower right after or take a dip in that big salty swimming pool-looking thing right next to you called “The Ocean”. Secondly, you need to know that it’s a lot of fun. Here is why:

Usually, only a normal field or court, your skills will come into play because those areas are specifically designed for that sport. So if you…have no skills, you can’t blame it on the playing field.

That is SO NOT the case when playing at the beach. That sand just makes it impossible for anyone to show off any footballing or volleyball skills whatsoever. The way it shifts underneath your feet with every rapid step you take makes it all a great deal of fun. You should try it. You will fall all over each other as you try to execute a Messi-like freekick that we guarantee will not work!

2. Make a Barbecue Party of It

Barbecues are always fun. Now try having one at the beach. All you have to do is find a spot (somewhere not in the middle of the crowds). You know, like on one of those secluded beaches in Watamu, Kenya. Bring a few friends, a grill, some beers and of course, the meat to be grilled.

You can go all out and even make it a seafood only grill. That will not only give you a chance to hang out with your friends and get some food in you but it will give you a chance to learn how to perfectly grill a red snapper.

3. Learn a New Sport

There are so many different types of sports you can learn at the beach:

  • Surfing.
  • Sail surfing.
  • Hoverboarding.
  • Kite surfing.

You could even learn how to jet ski and see whether you can break the sound barrier out there in the open water.

4. Build and Tackle an Obstacle Course in the Water

Now, this will take some level of creativity but with the right minds and attitude, it can be done. The obstacle course can consist of any…well, obstacles you want. Just make sure it’s mostly in the water. That makes it a lot more fun and a little bit more challenging. For example, you could divide yourself into two teams and do the classics such as:

  • Run a relay: Start a relay race where one person runs, the next swims, the following person limbos and so on. Make the different stages of the race as exciting and as fun as you can create.
  • Pass the water: Form a line with empty cups where the person at the end tries to pass water from their cup to the next person without spilling it.

Building the right kind of obstacle course will take some research and that’s okay. It will give you guys a chance to work on something together as you try to come up with the ultimate “Ninja Warrior Challenge”.

5. Have a Picnic and Play Some Boardgames

You could decide to have a laidback time and play some board games. It’s doesn’t even have to be classic board games such as chess or snakes and ladders. You could mix things up and play other games such as charades. The idea is to have a relaxed while slightly mentally stimulating time with your friends.

 

Having fun at the beach can go either way. You could decide to go “Full Moon Beach Party” like they do in Thailand or you could decide to be a little chilled and laidback. You know, none of that crazy stuff that will have you nursing a hangover into 2022. Either way, that combination of the sun, the sand and the big old ocean make for an amazing atmosphere that begs to be enjoyed in the company of loved ones.

Do you have a favourite beach activity? Share it with us in the comment section below.

When was the last time you did something daring? No, we are not talking about telling your loved one that you really don’t like hanging out with her friends. We are talking about something that gets your blood pumping and gives you that wild adrenaline rush that brings goosebumps to your skin. Something your grandma would consider “too dangerous for her “Lil Timmy”!

There was a time when people considered activities such as picnics and nature walks fun and exciting. While those pursuits are still a mainstay in any safari or adventure, more and more travellers are now looking for something a bit more thrilling. You know:

  • Shark diving down in Cape Town, South Africa.
  • Cliff jumping in Negril, Jamaica.
  • Volcano trekking on Mt. Etna in Sicily.
  • Kayaking with whales in Kodiak, Alaska.

The list of the “insane” things people do keeps growing as the days go by. That’s because many have realized just how fulfilling this kind of travel adventure can be. We are no longer all about booking a flight to Mombasa and basking in the sun for a couple of days (although that does sound pretty good!). Now we want to do things our grand-children will brag about as they proudly declare that granny is a daredevil!

Affordable Adrenaline-Filled Activities in Kenya

As one of the leading travel destinations in the world, there is no doubt that Kenya has a lot to offer her visitors. From wild safaris in some of the most iconic national parks to sun-filled stays at her 1,420 KM long coastline…the country is brimming with attractions.

However, your African safari would not be complete if you don’t give at least one of the following adrenaline-filled activities a go. Here is a list of some of the most exciting heart-pumping exploits you can enjoy in Kenya:

1. Paragliding over the Rift Valley

Not to be confused with “base jumping” (adrenaline junkies in wingsuits), “parasailing” (being towed by a boat) or “sky diving” (jumping out of a perfectly good aeroplane in Diani), paragliding is a whole different kettle of fish. While it’s still all about taking to the skies, paragliding involves foot launching from high ground and gracefully soaring like a bird.

You will need strong winds, the right kind of paragliding gear and high ground. Thankfully, Kenya is full of high grounds. Some of the best locations to go paragliding include Kijabe, Mt. Ololokwe and Ndoto Mountains. The most popular, however, is in the Kerio Valley where you can soar into the skies and get wonderful views of the Rift Valley.

You will need a qualified tandem pilot and as it turns out, one of the best is called Hunter Marrian.

  • Location: Kerio View Hotel.
  • Price: 8,000 Ksh ($80) for 20-30 minute flights.

2. Zip Lining at the Forest

“The Forest” is a family-focused destination in Limuru, Kenya. It’s probably called “The Forest” because it’s found deep in the Kereita Forest (go figure!). There are several reasons why this place is so popular with local tourists but the one that will stand out is the fact that it offers a host of adrenaline-filled activities for the whole family. We are talking:

  • Archery.
  • Mountain biking.
  • Paintballing.

Their iconic attraction, however, is the 2,200 meters long zip line that will have you flying high over the Kereita Forest. Those 2,200 meters represent the longest zip tour in all of East Africa, by the way. There is an ongoing debate on whether or not it actually does represent the longest zip tour in Africa but there is one in South Africa that might be longer or just as long but we digress.

With speeds of up to 60Km/h, not only will you skim the treetops at break-neck speeds but you will also fly under giant forest canopies as you make your way through those 2,200 meters like a bird.

  • Location: The Forest, Limuru.
  • Price: 2,800 Ksh ($28) for 6 lines – 2.2kms or 1,800 ksh ($18) for 2 line – 750m.

3. Jet Skiing in Diani

For some weird reason “speed” is an integral part of many adrenaline-filled activities. Probably because anything that makes us go faster than we are naturally designed to go is inherently dangerous. That, however, doesn’t stop us from trying to break the sound barrier every chance we get.

While jet skis don’t travel anywhere near the sound of speed, they still whizz by at an awfully high velocity which makes them perfect for a high adrenaline experience. Down at the coast, in Diani, to be specific, there is a company that will have you jet skiing out into the ocean for a session of “hanging out with dolphins” if you are lucky. Very few things beat the open water and high-speed manoeuvres.

  • Location: Diani, Kenya.
  • Price: 5,655 Ksh (approx.: $60 or 50 Euros)

4. Bungee Jumping into the Tana River

Of course, there is absolutely no way a list of adrenaline-filled activities will be complete without featuring a bungee cord of some sort. Bungee jumping is now widely considered a staple for adrenaline junkies. Not only is it fun but it’s quite affordable, easy to come by and absolutely insane if you think about it!

You are basically jumping head-first into the abyss with nothing but a piece of rope tied to your legs hoping it won’t snap on your way down! Fun times all around!

In Sagana, there is a 60-meter tall bungee jumping structure that plunges into the torrential Tana River. If you are up for it, you can take the 220 steps that lead to the top, assume the Jesus position and jump (it would be advisable to wait for the harness and bungee cord to be securely fastened to your person by the experts at hand).

  • Location: Sagana.
  • Price: 5,000 Ksh ($50).

5. Windsurfing at the Coast

If you love the water, the sun and a bit of speed, then windsurfing is the perfect activity for you. Not quite as fast as jet skiing, windsurfing will have you riding the ocean waves on a longboard (looks like a surfboard) attached to a sail. It takes some doing to master the skill but once you learn it, you will be like the pirates of old, taming the ocean waves as you conquer the sea albeit for 45 minutes.

  • Location: Diani.
  • Price: From 25 to 50 Euros a lesson and equipment hire: 5,655 Ksh (approx.: $60 or 50 Euros)

Do you have a favourite adrenaline-filled activity you like to indulge in? Share it with us in the comment section below.

The kind of traveller you are really boils down to the kind of person you are when no one is looking. If you had a choice to truly be yourself, what would you do? The answer to this question would surprise you. Chances are that the first few choices you make will still not be the true you.

As a young, youthful individual living in this digital era, you have undoubtedly become accustomed to sharing all your “cool” pictures on social media. So subconsciously, you are always looking to do the things that you think your followers (and close friends) will find intriguing. However, do you know if that is the real you?

As we said, the first few choices will surprise you. You will find that they are things you do when you have a bunch of friends with you and you want to maintain your “cool” status! Once all that washes away, you will begin to truly discover what kind of traveller you are deep down inside.

The “Relaxation” Traveller

Although one could argue that every type of traveller is a “relaxation” traveller considering the fact that we travel to unplug and unwind, you would be surprised at how many people get home from a holiday just a little bit more tired than they left. A relaxation traveller will never get back home tired. This is the kind of traveller who does not care for long nights of club hopping or strenuous activity such as mountain climbing. These people want to:

  • Sunbathe on a beach while sipping drinks with little umbrellas in them
  • Read a good book and order room service
  • Get a massage and go clothes shopping
  • Have breakfast or dinner in establishments that have no strict regulations about what time you can do either

Travelling to these people is all about stopping time. They do not want to be on any schedule when they are on holiday. As such, they will seek out places offer 24/7 room service and that is probably way out there away from the beaten path.

The “Food” Traveller

You have probably heard the term “foodie” thrown about from time to time. While it is true that most of us are not exactly opposed to trying out the local cuisine whenever we travel, there are people who only ever travel to destinations with the best-renowned chefs or cuisines in the world. These are people who will seek out food festivals and only visit places that have an in-house chef with an assortment of signature dishes. These people prefer destinations such as France or Italy where they can really let their palate loose.

The “Nature” Traveller

This is the kind of traveller who wants nothing to do with the urban jungle. They want the real jungle. Somewhere they can to sleep under the stars. They want to camp out and swim in lakes or rivers. They want to get their food from the land and they are extremely conscious about the environment. These are the kind of people who will not think twice to head out to Ngare Ndare for the day and just experience extreme serenity as they traverse the “Canopy Walk” or take a dip in any one of the 7 ponds underneath a waterfall. These people believe that man was meant to explore the great outdoors.

The “Adventure” Traveller

These people will try anything to get their hearts racing. Adventure travellers are the kind of people who will seek out destinations that offer things like shark-diving or base-jumping. They are very much adrenaline junkies who have no qualms pushing their bodies to the limit. These people often have excellent travel insurance because they know that anything can happen at any given time while they chase that ever fleeting adrenaline-rush.

The “Thrill-Seeking” Traveller

This type of traveller is not to be confused with an “adventure traveller” even though they have many similar traits. The thrill-seeker is someone who won’t necessarily go white-water rafting or skydiving but they will steer clear of the beaten path. These people all have a different definition for the word “thrill”. Some like going to dingy bars where only the locals frequent; others will decide to take a tour of a dangerous slum knowing very well they could get robbed. Most are willing to try anything new as long as it is not what they are accustomed to back home. They want that experience and if it comes with a little adrenaline, then well and good.

There is also the “Urban Traveller” who only visits cities and is right at home in places like Dubai, Venice or New York. You could also be a “Family Traveller”; you know, the kind of person who only goes to child-friendly destinations because you cherish spending time with the kids. Ultimately though, there is the “Escapist Traveller”. Alas, almost all of us fall under this category. An escapist believes that any kind of discomfort in life can be washed away by giving yourself some distance.

  • Got your heart broken in London? Travel to Thailand and disconnect.
  • Your London office job stressing you? Go to Kenya and live among the Maasai for a bit.
  • Tired of the city life? Go to the Arctic and live in an Igloo with the Inuit for a week or so.

It doesn’t matter what kind of traveller you are, ultimately, we all travel to escape the humdrum of our day to day life. The best thing is that, if you do it correctly, travelling will leave you feeling more fulfilled. Sometimes tired but fulfilled none-the-less.

What kind of traveller are you? Share it with us in the comment section below.

The beauty of solitude

There is a dangerously addictive quality to solitude. Once you see just how peaceful it can get, you may never want to deal with people – ever again! Avid adventure travellers such as deep sea divers, mountaineers and cave explorers know this and you can too if you take the time to travel alone.

Yes, a huge part of the allure of travel is very much like the comical saying that was once associated with the U.S Marines that went something like this:

“Join the Marines; Travel to exotic places; meet exciting new people and kill them all!”

Of course, when it comes to travel we would very much prefer it if you didn’t cause the demise of those you meet along the way…but we digress!

While travelling in a group can be exciting, cost-effective and safe, there is something to be said about taking a long safari alone…at least once!

Reasons why you should travel alone at least once

Apart from the fact that it is liberating and gives you a chance to do whatever the heck you want (meaning: you do not have to worry about Sandy and her ‘nose up in air’ tendencies of insisting on only booking the most expensive 5-star accommodation even though you are on a shoe-string budget and you do not want to max out your credit card or clean out your bank account…again, we digress!) travelling alone also brings with it the following advantages:

Helps you sharpen your problem-solving skills

When was the last time you lost your wallet and couldn’t function for like a month? You see, if you have such issues, then travelling alone will help you overcome those fears. Mostly because when you are in a foreign country you do not have a month to sit and wallow over your lost wallet. You will have to figure something out quick and that helps you sharpen your ‘on the spot problem-solving skills’ which is something you actually apply in real life.

It offers you great flexibility

 

Do you want to book a flight to Zanzibar instead of visiting the afore-planned Serengeti National Park? You can do that…and you don’t even have to laboriously debate the matter with Sandy! Travelling alone gives you the kind of independence you only read about in revolutionary war literature. With this independence comes flexibility in both movement and budget.

When you are with Sandy, you will be comfortable to speak to her most of the time. However, when you travel alone, you will be forced to learn more about your surroundings. From the local customs to the local language and even tenets. This will, in turn, get you out of your shell and force you to make friends with the locals (something that could change your life for the better!)

It allows you to find your own rhythm

Being in a group or with a friend tends to shield you from finding your own rhythm. More often than not, you will find that you are more amenable to what the collective group wants to do and see. However, when travelling alone, you get to decide where to go, how long to stay there and what to see. This makes for a more intense and personalized safari.

You will learn more about who you are as a person

Solo travel tends to offer more unforeseeable instances of happenstance when compared to a structured group safari. These fortunate occurrences may lead to you discovering things you didn’t even know you enjoyed. Maybe you like star-gazing, who knew? Maybe you like swimming naked in the freezing river at dawn? Things you can hardly do with your kids around…or Sandy!

There is also another reason why solo travel would make a lot of sense to most of us – it is cheaper! Yes, group rates are wonderful and all but all that planning and pulling together of resources can be as taxing on the mind as paying for a luxurious safari while struggling with student loans. When you travel alone, you can take your time to find the cheapest airfares to your desired destination.

Once you get there, you can find the cheapest way to get around, the most cost-effective accommodation and you can even find affordable ways to keep yourself fed and entertained. You only have to answer to yourself and depending on the kind of person you are, you can be a little lenient with your own self every now and again.

Do you have any solo travel experiences you would like to share? Maybe a few reasons why you loved it so much and would do it again at the drop of a hat? Share them with us in the comment section below.

Have your bags ever fallen victim to the bottomless pit of lost luggage? If you’re a frequent flyer and the airlines haven’t lost your luggage before then consider yourself lucky. As frustrating as it is when the airlines lose your luggage, I guess you have to put it down to human error… these things happen. At the same time, it can be an extremely annoying experience when your luggage is MIA and you have no idea where it is or how to get it back.

What percentage of checked bags are lost?

Airlines are getting smarter about baggage handling and relying on technology such as luggage tags and automated tracking systems to track luggage at major transfer points. This means the chances of your checked bags getting lost are very slim. However, the chances of luggage being put on another flight or taking a detour to another airport are greater on connecting flights.

What happens if an airline loses my luggage?

If your luggage goes AWOL the first step is to not panic and blame or be nasty to the airport staff or people who are trying to help. This is what you should do if you find yourself standing at the carousel and your bag is nowhere to be seen:

  • First check the other carousels, baggage office, or holding area. It is rare that this happens, but there is always a chance that your bag made the flight but was offloaded somewhere else.
  • If your bag was delayed, the check-in tag on your luggage should allow the airline’s online system to figure out where your bag is and why it was delayed.
  • If your luggage has disappeared without a trace, you will need to report it to the airline and/or baggage claim office immediately. If you were on a connecting flight you will need to report it to the operating airline of your last flight. Include a detailed description of your bag and travel itinerary and be sure to include contact information so they can get hold of you. You should also ensure you get a reference number.
  • Follow up with the airline within 24 hours and request a reimbursement for your checked baggage fee (if applicable).
  • If the airline is able to locate and retrieve your luggage they should courier it to you free of charge, but this is not always the case. Double check if there is a delivery fee and don’t be afraid to insist that they return it to you, especially if the items you lost were valuable.
  • If your luggage is not found and returned after 21 days it is considered lost forever. You will then be able to make a ‘lost baggage’ claim with the airline and be compensated for your loss. The claim process is a lot more detailed so you will be required to list everything that was in the bag and include purchase dates and receipts for expensive items.

Note. Different airlines may have different policies for lost luggage.

How much do airlines have to pay for lost luggage?

Various airlines offer compensation for essential purchases if your luggage is delayed and compensation for your luggage and its contents if it is lost forever. If you are claiming expensive items as part of the lost items, you will be asked to prove that you owned those items.

Note: Certain airlines do not take responsibility for expensive items such as visas, computer equipment, electronic devices, mobile phones, fragile items, business documents, and jewellery in lost luggage.

How do I track lost luggage?

Most airline websites have a lost baggage tracker section where you can put in the tracking number and see the status of your luggage.

How can I avoid losing my luggage?

Having travel insurance is great, but most of us will agree that we want to get our original belongings back. Fortunately, there are some precautions you can take to ensure you never lose valuable luggage.

  • Pack valuables and your favourite jacket in your carry-on luggage. Many airlines do not cover valuables that get lost or stolen in checked bags. This includes passports, cameras, cellphones, money, and jewellery.
  • Clearly label your bag with your contact details and destination. This will make it easy for the airline to track you down and return your luggage.
  • Make sure the person who checks your luggage attaches the correct destination ticket.
  • Customise your checked bag to make it easy to identify so somebody doesn’t grab it by accident. Buy a suitcase in a distinct colour or get a unique luggage belt or tag.
  • Ensure you have enough time between connecting flights and avoid late check-ins. If you barely make a flight there is a good chance your luggage won’t. If you are flying with multiple airlines you will have to re-check your luggage.
  • Make sure that you keep the luggage stub from your checked luggage as it is a critical piece of information to prove ownership should your luggage get lost or stolen. The ground staff will usually stick it on the back of your boarding pass.
  • Consider getting traceable luggage tags. They are nifty inventions with GPS locators that give you more control over the whereabouts of your luggage when it’s out of your sight. They work on a global scale and will give you peace of mind for those long-haul flights where multiple connecting flights and stopovers can increase your chances of losing your luggage.

Unfortunately, many travellers are at the mercy of airlines when it comes to luggage, but by clearly labelling your luggage and being careful about choosing a flight with enough connection time between flights, you should be able to avoid having to deal with lost luggage.

Has your luggage ever gone missing on a trip? Let us know how you dealt with it in the comments section below!