How realistic is it to travel to Antarctica?

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Are you bored of going to the same ol’ travel destinations? We don’t blame you. Don’t get us wrong, we love lazing on a beach and soaking up the sun as much as the next person, but there are some instances where you just want more. You want to find a hidden destination that nobody has visited before, you want to explore all four corners of the earth, and you want to go somewhere that you never dreamed you’d get to visit. Because of this, there’s a high chance that you’ve had your eye on Antarctica. From the snow-capped mountains to the glaciers, to the penguins, Antarctica is the ultimate bucket list destination. But how realistic is it to travel to Antarctica?

It’s not a real country

So, Antarctica is just like any other country in the world, right? Not quite! Unlike every other country in the world, Antarctica is not a REAL country. This is because Antarctica has no permanent populations (you know, apart from the penguins and the polar bears), and no government. Because of this, there is no real economy or ethos to this landscape. Instead, it is preserved by some of the top companies and scientists so that they can understand the ecosystem and keep themselves up to date with the ever-changing and unique weather systems. This poses a problem for tourists, as there are very few hotels, there is no public transport system, and there are very few people out there who are willing to make you breakfast in bed…

It’s all about the expedition

If you really want to see what Antarctica has to offer, you won’t be able to do it alone. If you wanted to explore the frozen tundras by yourself, you will need explicit permission and a good reason for doing so. So, you can’t just rock up and frolic with the penguins! One of the best ways to see this area in all of its glory is to join an expedition or find one of the few companies out there who have licences to take tourists across these icy plains. If you’re really lucky, you might even be able to find a luxury cruise that stops off in this incredible non-country.

The environment is harsh

One of the biggest downfalls with a trip to Antarctica is the fact that the environment is incredibly harsh. This place doesn’t just harbor a brisk wind on a cold winter’s day. Instead, this is the kind of cold that will make it almost impossible to stay warm. You will need to shell out thousands of dollars on specialist equipment, you’ll need to know all of the tricks of the trade, and you’ll need to know how to survive in such an environment. Because of this, it’s not the kind of vacation that you would book for the sake of it. This one requires planning.

It’s ridiculously expensive

Because tourism in Antarctica is not as easily accessible as other countries on earth, a trip to Antarctica is ridiculously expensive. You will need to save up a huge portion of money to even think about grabbing your coat and checking out the glaciers. If you’re going on an Antarctic cruise expedition that takes you on a tour around this incredible landscape for 10-14 days, you can expect to pay around $ 10,000 to $ 12,000 per person. This huge chunk of money is not readily available for most people, which means it’s much less realistic to travel to Antarctica than you would think.

If Antarctica is on your travel bucket list, you might have already looked into the possibility of flying to this harsh landscape. However, it seems as though a trip to Antarctica may not be as simple as it seems.

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Best vegan restaurants in the UK: readers’ travel tips

With influences ranging from Van Gogh to Asia, these vegan venues serve up arty as well as delicious food – on beaches, buses … and in an underpass

Bundobust is fast becoming a Leeds institution for food lovers of all persuasions. Everything is veggie, and a large proportion of the menu is vegan, with an easy vegan sharing menu for two a great way in. From the okra fries dusted in black salt and mango powder (genius) to the chole dal and masala dosa, its south Indian street food, craft beer and Asian-inspired cocktails are a winning combo. With dishes from £4-6.50 it’s also easy on the wallet, so you can try a bit of everything.
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Independent cinemas in the UK: readers’ travel tips

Over 1,500 of you recommended indie picture houses. Here are the top 10 – in stations, warehouses and rural villages

Campbeltown Picture House on the Kintyre peninsula is amazing. Recently refurbished, it has retained all of its original charm (it has been a functioning cinema since 1913) but is now a welcoming, contemporary space offering two screens and a cafe. Screen 1 will blow you away with its atmospheric ceiling and half-timbered “wee house” features. It shows all the latest releases, great classics and streamed live theatre. It is a fantastic cultural hub in a remote, rural area and testament to the relentless hard work of the volunteers who fund-raised to get the refurbishment project off the ground.
Adult from £7, campbeltownpicturehouse.co.uk
Emma Macalister Hall

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Rules to travel by

In the stress and rush of travel, civility can be hard to find. After seeing "whiny jerks" in the boarding line and other boorish behaviors, Focus Brands COO Kat Cole sent several tweets on “simple rules to travel by." She says her tips work not only at airports, but at the workplace and more.
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Spooky places to visit in the UK this Halloween: readers’ travel tips

Serious history collides with fond imaginings in our tipsters’ tales of the unexplained, from a Spanish Armada wreck to a snuffling ghost pooch

Windhouse, on Yell, is probably Shetland’s most haunted house. Last year, two 13th-century skeletons were uncovered at this 18th-century ruin, which is reputedly haunted by a lady in silk, a man in a top hat, a servant girl and a dog. There are reports of skeletal remains of a woman, man and child found in separate incidents between the 1880s and 1900s, as well as the story of the shipwrecked sailor who spent a night in the house one Christmas and had to fight off a monster with an axe. The house can be visited for free anytime – and if you’re feeling brave, the gatehouse is now run as a camping pod by Shetland Amenity Trust (£12pp, sleeps 8, Mar-Oct).
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Sri Lanka ranked top country for travel in 2019 by Lonely Planet

Improved train services mean it’s easier than ever to explore Sri Lanka but campaigners warn a surge in tourism could ruin its natural beauty

Almost 10 years after the end of its civil war, Sri Lanka has been named the best country in the world to visit in 2019 by Lonely Planet. Better transport links, new hotels and a growing number of activities were cited as the reason the south-Asian island was chosen for the top spot in the guidebook publisher ’s annual Best in Travel awards.

“Already notable to intrepid travellers for its mix of religions and cultures, its timeless temples, its rich and accessible wildlife, its growing surf scene and its people who defy all odds by their welcome and friendliness after decades of civil conflict, this is a country revived,” says Lonely Planet author Ethan Gelber in the Best in Travel 2019 book, published today.

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Travel blogs that are really great reads

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Do you love traveling as much as we do? There really is no better feeling than jumping on an airplane and letting the pilot take you to a brand new destination where you can check out the local cuisine, get to grips with the biggest attractions, and expand your horizons. The world really is your oyster. Of course, traveling the world one country at a time can be difficult if you work full-time, and you have to make the most out of your vacation days and your weekends. But if you struggle to make it through the day without thinking about travel-related-tidbits, you’ll love these travel blogs that are really great reads…

Nomadic Matt

Nomadic Matt is perhaps one of the biggest and most successful travel bloggers in the world. As if that wasn’t cool enough, he’s also written a book that has made its way onto the New York Times best-seller list! After making his way into the world of full-time work and using all of his free time to see more of the world, Matt eventually decided to take the plunge, give up his job, and travel the world full-time. He has since been traveling for over a decade and uses his blog to show off his adventures, provide fans with travel tips, and even help them plan their own traveling adventure on a budget.

Alex in Wonderland

Do you ever just find yourself dreaming of a travel experience? Well, you’re not alone. That’s exactly what Alex went through while she was living and studying in Brooklyn. After growing tired of her everyday life, she decided that enough was enough and bought a one-way ticket abroad. Since then, she has spent six years traveling the globe and seeing what each new destination has to offer. Her travel blog is all about getting the most about a traveling adventure and living your best life.

Roads & Kingdoms

If you’re the kind of person that likes to be clued up about travel and culture, then Roads & Kingdoms is right up your street. This travel blog was set up by two established journalists who decided to give back to those who had caught the travel blog. Within this amazing website, these guys give you all the information you could possibly want to know about a country or city, from the food recommendations to the attractions and natural wonders you really need to see, to the music you need to listen to and the drinks you need to try. It’s the ultimate site of facts and figures, with a little bit of fun thrown in for good measure.

Fearful Adventurer

The Fearful Adventure blog is the blog for all of the worriers out there because traveling can be stressful and scary. Torre uses her blog to help those people out there who struggle with traveling on their own or with other people, to show you that you are in control of your own traveling experiences and that only you have the power to determine how you will make the most out of seeing the world and experiencing new things.

The Blonde Abroad

If you’re a strong, sassy woman who loves to do things off their own back, then you’ll love The Blonde Abroad. This travel blog was set up by Kiki, a California native who decided to take a break from work and try and ‘find herself’ during a summer abroad. However, what she didn’t realize was that she would be sucked into the travel lifestyle and feel totally empowered by going it alone and embracing her female power. From that, The Blonde Abroad was created, and she now advises and helps other women embark on their own solo journey of self-discovery. It will give you massive FOMO but is so worth it.

Looking for a cool new travel blog to keep you company on the commute home from work, or one to give you inspiration? These are a good start.

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It’ll be tougher to travel with your emotional support animal on Spirit Airlines

Those hoping to travel on Spirit Airlines with emotional support animals will now have to jump through a few more hoops.

The company is enforcing stricter rules as of Monday, following the lead of other airlines also cracking down on creatures being crammed into their cabins.

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Popular travel destinations that have been ruined by tourists

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The world has become a more connected place than it used to be. Thanks to advances in technology, travel is cheaper, and we can all just Google a flight to see where our next holiday destination should be. While it is great that so many places that were once thought impossible to get to are now up for vacation consideration plans, there is a problem. The increased footfall in these places is having a negative impact on the place, people, or the actual tourists. Have you been on vacation only to have thought it was ruined by other people also visiting? Check out these popular travel destinations ruined by tourists.

Santorini, Greece

The small island of Santorini in Greece is as beautiful a place as you are likely to find anywhere on the planet. The small island is picturesque and has become an Instagram-worthy vacation destination for many. It is a popular stop for European cruises, so the number of tourists visiting the island per day has had to be capped at 8,000. With so many people crammed onto such a tiny piece of rock, the island is losing its charm and instead just feels overcrowded during peak travel times.

Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy

You’ve seen those pictures of people standing in front of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, pretending to be holding it up thanks to a trick of the camera. Well, good luck finding a clear space to take that picture as pretty much everybody who goes is trying their best to get one of these ‘hilarious’ shots that are totally original and have never been done before. The tower is incredible to see, but the sheer number of people who are swarmed around it can really ruin the atmosphere when you are there.

Taj Mahal, India

Unquestionably, the Taj Mahal is one of the most beautiful buildings in the world, so it makes sense that so many people want to visit. The huge crowds of people, really become a problem as you’ll basically have to battle with them to get a semi-decent photo of one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. If you really want to go then your best bet is to arrive first thing in the morning (gates open at 6am) and then run to the spot you want to take your picture from, otherwise forget about getting a good picture without anyone else in the background.

Galápagos Islands, Ecuador

The Galápagos Islands are possibly the best known natural habitat found anywhere on the planet. The islands in Ecuador are naturally a place many people want to visit to get a glimpse of the diverse wildlife found there, but visitors can imbalance the environment. There are strict rules places on visitors, and they are only allowed to go on marked trails with the assistance of a guide. Much of the natural world has been destroyed thanks to human activity, and the Galápagos Islands are one of the few places left on the planet where humans have had relatively little impact on the biodiverse wildlife that lives there. The ecosystem is very fragile there, and further tourism can lead to the whole thing breaking down, ruining it forever.

Mount Everest, Nepal

One of the world’s most dangerous places is being made even more dangerous thanks to the overcrowding on the Nepal side of this mountain. Local guides have complained about the impact too many tourists are having on the site, especially those not capable of climbing the notoriously difficult peak. It is already difficult to climb without having to battle against the hordes of others around you on the mountain.

These places are all incredible and are rightly places that many people desire to go and visit. Unfortunately, they are not capable of housing all of those people which is negatively impacting the experience tourists have when they go. Next time you consider one of these places, think about your impact – and be prepared to wake up early if you want to get a good photo!

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The perfect travel item for your beauty rest

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The Boneco Ultrasonic Humidifier is the perfect companion for your traveling needs. Simply hook up a standard water bottle to the device and you are good to go. 

Heads up: All products featured here are selected by Mashable’s commerce team and meet our rigorous standards for awesomeness. If you buy something, Mashable may earn an affiliate commission. Read more…

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How to travel the world in a van

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If you are a traveler and explorer at heart, and you wish to travel the world, you might want to consider doing it in a van. It’s not easy, but it can be an incredible experience. It seems like everybody’s dream to travel and explore the various parts of the world at a relaxed pace, experiencing everything that the people of a particular place have to offer. Every little nook and cranny of those small streets, every dish we try, all the people we meet, and all the experiences we share, bring us knowledge and joy.

Living in a van is not easy, especially if you are planning on travelling for a long period of time. If you are looking to make this van your new home, then make sure that it is fully equipped with all the necessary items and comfortable enough to live in. Here are some tips to consider if you want to travel in a van.

Prepare for the weather

Make sure that your new mobile home is prepared for the cold. Winters are harsh in many areas of the world, and it can be frigid if you plan on spending those in your van. Insulate your van properly so that there is no loss of heat during the harsh winter months. Buy some thermal insulation curtains to avoid any loss of heat through the windows, and make sure you have warm blankets.

Stay healthy and active

It is important to make sure that you eat a healthy and balanced diet so that you can survive the long hours of travelling and the different weather conditions you might encounter. Make sure to do regular exercise on the road, as keeping yourself physically fit is important.

Keep clean

Try as much as possible to keep yourself clean and hygienic. With a couple of baby wipes, deodorant, and dry shampoo, it is not hard as it seems. You can also find a shower at places such as gyms and community swimming pools.

Choose your partner carefully

While travelling with your partner, there will be some ups and downs in your relationship, but all can be worked out if you have some patience and perseverance. It will only bring the two of you closer as friends, or as a couple.

Stay safe

Even when you are perfectly safe in your home, make sure that you take some preventive measures. Consider installing a fire extinguisher in the van, or investing in security cameras so that you can make sure that there is no suspicious activity.

In the beginning, there will be difficulties in adjusting to the van lifestyle, but eventually, if you do it right, you will grow to love it and make the road your home. So if you feel that you need to make a change in your life, don’t be scared to get away and live a little different than everyone. Traveling in a van could be the an excellent solution for getting away from this crazy life.

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