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Get inspired to explore new destinations and discover the coolest travel hacks and ideas right here. Visit the Zahara Travel blog to stay updated with the latest travel trends and news.

Solar Storm Amplifies Northern Lights, Spectacle Visible Across Multiple Locations

Ambika Verma| Sat, 11 May 2024

In an extraordinary turn of event, the Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, have extended their reach across multiple locations, courtesy of a potent solar storm. Enthusiasts and spectators alike are revelling in the awe-inspiring display as the dancing lights paint the night skies from Alaska to Scotland. The phenomenon, typically associated with Arctic regions such as Norway, Iceland, and Canada, has expanded its canvas due to a recent surge in solar activity. This surge has sent charged particles hurtling towards Earth, creating ideal conditions for the Northern Lights to manifest. From the remote wilderness of Alaska to the mystical landscapes of Scotland's Isle of Skye, lucky spectators are treated to a rare and extended showcase of the Aurora Borealis. Finland, with its glass igloos offering unparalleled viewing opportunities, and Russia, with its vast expanses of northern territory, are also among the locations where the spectacle can be witnessed. The Northern Lights, characterised by curtains of light in varying hues of green, pink, and purple, have captivated audiences for centuries. Amateur photographers and nature enthusiasts alike are urged to seize the moment, with the spectacle providing ample opportunities for stunning imagery. As the solar storm continues to make its presence felt, enthusiasts are advised to monitor aurora forecast websites and apps for optimal viewing times and locations. Patience, warm clothing, and camera equipment with manual settings are recommended for those seeking to capture the beauty of the Northern Lights in all its splendour. In a world filled with natural wonders, the Northern Lights stand out as a testament to the majesty of the cosmos. As they grace skies across multiple locations, travellers and adventurers are reminded of the profound beauty that can be found in the heavens above.

Traveling Sustainably With Our Guide to Eco-Friendly Adventures

Ambika Verma| Sun, 14 Apr 2024

Sustainability and responsible tourism are becoming increasingly important in today's rapidly changing world. At Zahara Travel, we are committed to promoting responsible and ecofriendly travel strategies that allow you to explore the world while minimizing the impact on the environmental. In this blog post, we will share practical tips and recommendations on how to travel in an eco-friendly manner and contribute to the preservation of our planet's natural beauty and cultural heritage. 1. Choose Sustainable Accommodation Choose eco-friendly lodging establishments that put an emphasis on sustainable measures including water conservation, waste reduction, energy efficiency, and the utilisation of renewable resources. When making your hotel reservation, look for eco-certifications and green programmes to support companies that practise environmental care. 2. Reduce Your Carbon Footprint Consider carbon offsetting options to neutralize the carbon emissions from your flights and transportation. Many airlines and travel companies offer carbon offset programs that fund renewable energy projects and reforestation initiatives to offset the environmental impact of travel. 3. Support Local Communities Choose locally owned and operated businesses, restaurants, and tour operators to promote community development and the local economy. Get involved with the communities where you are, discover their customs, culture, and way of life, and support local artisans and craftsmen by buying souvenirs and other merchandise manufactured there. 4. Minimize Single-Use Plastics When travelling, use reusable shopping bags, travel mugs, and water bottles to cut down on single-use plastics and waste. Steer clear of plastic straws, cutlery, and containers in favour of eco-friendly substitutes made of sustainable materials like bamboo, stainless steel, or biodegradable materials. 5. Practice Responsible Wildlife Tourism While choosing wildlife tourism options select wildlife encounters that put conservation and animal welfare first, such as responsible whale watching excursions, ethical elephant sanctuaries, and wildlife rehabilitation facilities. Steer clear of endeavours that injure or exploit wildlife, use captive animals, or damage their habitats. Instead, support groups and organisations that work to save endangered species and their environment. 6. Honour and safeguard cultural and natural heritage To reduce your impact on natural habitats and cultural sites, abide by the "Leave No Trace" and "Take Only Photos, Leave Only Footprints" concepts. To maintain the integrity and authenticity of the locations you visit, respect local customs, traditions, and holy sites. You should also get permission before taking pictures of people, places, and cu cultural artifacts to preserve the integrity and authenticity of the destinations you visit. 7. Choose Eco-Friendly Transportation Opt for eco-friendly modes of transportation such as walking, cycling, or using public transportation to explore destinations and reduce your carbon footprint. Consider renting hybrid or electric vehicles, carpooling, and using eco-friendly transport options such as trains or buses for longer journeys to minimize environmental impact. Traveling sustainably is not only about protecting the environment but also about enriching your travel experiences, fostering cultural exchange, and supporting local communities and economies. At Zahara Travel, we are dedicated to promoting eco-friendly travel practices and offering sustainable travel options that allow you to explore the world responsibly and make a positive difference. For personalized eco-friendly travel experiences and expert guidance to plan your sustainable adventures, contact Zahara Travel at (968) 24400811 or sales.marketing@zaharatravel.com. Visit our website www.zaharatravel.com to explore our range of eco-friendly tours and services. Join us in our commitment to responsible tourism and sustainable travel, and together we can protect and preserve the natural and cultural heritage of our planet for future generations to enjoy.

The Best Travel Reads to Fuel Your Wanderlust

Ambika Verma| Fri, 12 Apr 2024

At Zahara Travel, we believe that travel is not just about the destinations we visit but also about the stories we discover along the way. To help you feed your wanderlust and inspire your next adventure, we've put together a selection of the top travel books that will take you on a journey across the globe all without leaving the comforts of your home. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho This timeless classic follows Santiago, a young shepherd, on his journey to find a hidden treasure in the Egyptian pyramids. A tale of adventure, self-discovery, and following one’s dreams, The Alchemist will inspire you to embark on your own personal quest for treasure, wherever that may lead you. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert Eat, Pray, Love chronicles Elizabeth Gilbert's transformative journey across Italy, India, and Indonesia as she seeks to rediscover herself and find balance in her life. The book is a heartfelt and humorous memoir that celebrates the joys of travel, self-discovery, and the pursuit of happiness. Wild by Cheryl Strayed Cheryl Strayed embarks on a solo trek along the Pacific Crest Trail, confronting her fears, embracing solitude, and finding strength in the face of adversity in this powerful read. Wild is an inspiring memoir that celebrates the healing power of nature and the resilience of the human spirit in the face of difficult odds. The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner Journey with journalist Eric Weiner on his quest to uncover the secrets to happiness by exploring the world’s happiest countries and cultures. The Geography of Bliss is a thought-provoking and entertaining travelogue that delves into the complexities of happiness and the cultural factors that shape our well-being. Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer This is a gripping retelling of a true story where we follow Christopher McCandless as he leaves behind his comfortable life to embark on a solitary journey into the Alaskan wilderness. Into the Wild is a compelling and cautionary tale that explores the allure of adventure, the beauty of nature, and the consequences of living on the edge. The Beach by Alex Garland Dive into the tropical paradise of Thailand’s hidden beaches with Richard, a young backpacker in search of adventure and escape from the tourist trail. The Beach is a thrilling and suspenseful novel that explores the darker side of paradise and the extent people would go to in order to build their own utopia. In Patagonia by Bruce Chatwin Bruce Chatwin takes readers on a journey across the untamed landscapes of Patagonia, highlighting the area's breathtaking natural beauty, fascinating history, and captivating folklore. The poetic and evocative travel read "In Patagonia" whisks readers away to a world of distant wildness and antiquated customs. So whether you're looking to get inspired while ensconced in the comforts of your home or are planning your next vacation, these engrossing travel reads will definitely satisfy your wanderlust and transport you to some of the most intriguing places on earth. We at Zahara Travel are dedicated to enhancing and enriching your travel experiences, and so we hope that these top travel books will inspire you to set out on new adventures and unearth hidden gems around the globe. For personalised travel experiences and expert guidance to plan your next adventure, contact us at (968) 24400811 or sales.marketing@zaharatravel.com and explore our range of tours and services on our website. Happy reading and happy travels from the team at Zahara Travel!

Self Drive Vacations On the Rise

Ambika Verma| Fri, 06 Jan 2023

The way we travel is constantly changing and one of the biggest trends in the last few years is the rise of self-drive vacations. According to some experts, the number of people opting for such holidays is seeing a steady growth particularly within the age group of 25 to 45 years. The last decade has seen more Omanis now opting to explore domestic destinations by renting a car. In contrast to a decade ago where one would mostly see families making trips with their children, there is a steep increase in younger crowds heading out for road trips now. With trips to places like Salalah, and Sur leading the boards as the top destinations domestically, Britain, Ireland, USA, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, and Thailand are some of the many international destinations that make for a great self-drive holiday options among Omanis. The increasing popularity of road trips in Oman can be attributed to great road connectivity, increasing good navigation systems and the wide variety of options for car and bike rentals among others. Infact the self-drive holiday segment itself has grown among people travelling both within Oman and abroad with many believing that movies and the increasing influence of social media is giving rise to the trend, resulting in road trips being on the bucket list of many travellers these days. Particularly in these hectic times with the concept of long-weekend holidays serving as a mini-escape, popular drive-down locations are seeing a surge of interest. But what exactly is involved in a self-drive vacation? A self-drive vacation is a package that at a minimum entails a rental car, accommodation, and transportation. This can involve flying down to the destination of your choice and picking up your car from the regional airport. There, you will be able to venture out into the open roads and explore the area at your own pace while having a pre-suggested itinerary by your side.Drive from city to city while enjoying the stress-free comfort of convenient pre-planned routes and accommodations in every place that you visit. Many may wonder what are the benefits of self-drive vacations over traditional holiday packages? The answer to that is plenty of freedom and flexibility wherein one can explore a destination at one's own pace and interest. While you will have a pre-suggested itinerary developed by travel experts who know the area well and can suggest sites to visit and routes to explore according to your interest; You can choose what interests you from the suggested itinerary, follow it exactly or completely ignore this list and go with the flow. Just make sure you make it to the cities where your accommodations will be booked. While you will have the freedom and flexibility you desire, you are also afforded the comfort and convenience that comes with having your accommodations pre-planned and booked for you, in the best hotels our expert partners could find at the best possible price. You can cut out the stresses involved with searching for places to stay and ensuring they suit the dates and location you’re travelling on by not having to do any of the planning yourself. So you can just focus on enjoying your vacation! So if you don’t enjoy waiting in line or following the crowd, then self-drive tours might be for you. Among the best ways to discover places at your own pace is through self-drive itineraries, where you can choose the sites you want to check out, how many breaks you wish to take, or which route interests you. The shorter or the scenic route, it's all up to you, depending on what your interests are and what pace you want to set out and explore at. Are you in the mood to book a rental vehicle and set off for a trip? Whether you're searching for answers about the workings of self-drive vacations, or are just searching for recommendations or advice from our travel experts, reach out to our team of highly knowledgeable and experienced travel experts at (+968) 24400811 or sales.marketing@zaharatravel.com and they will be happy to help you!

How to Plan the Perfect Holiday When Travelling With Your Kids

Zahara Travel Team| Fri, 04 Nov 2022

Travelling with your whole family can be overwhelming. Even though it can be an enlightening and eye-opening experience for children of all ages and that it gets easier the more you do it, you’ll run into challenges any time you travel with kids. With changing schedules, frustrating packing needs and cranky children being only a few of the challenges you will probably come across on the way. While we at Zahara Travel are always there to help make travelling with your kids easier, there are a number of things that you can do to make the travel experience a fun one. Taking some small steps before the trip can ensure you have a much smoother experience and there are so many little things that can help you enjoy your time and save time, money, and stress on your trip. So what are some things that can be both useful and easy to implement during a family travel experience wherein you and your kids can enjoy seeing the world and enjoy creating memories along the way- with lots of new foods, experiences and sights, not to mention quality family time awaiting you. The particular strategies you can use to help children enjoy a fun time on their trip will change according to how old they are with babies and toddler having very different requirements from tweens or teens.Regardless of how old your kids are, some pre-trip research on child-friendly travel options and activities in your destination that you and your family can take part in together. Just a little bit of preparation will take you the distance. Another thing that is important to prioritise on your trip is convenience and not just the cost, for while cheap flight with a layover looks a lot easier on your web browser than it does when you’re at the airport with a screaming toddler and unless you for an especially long daytime flight, it may be better to opt for a non stop flight. On the other hand with journeys spanning to longer durations, it may benefit you to break up the trip into two shorter flights, especially if you have younger kids whom you may wish to give an opportunity to get off the plane, stretch and run around. Something to always remember is that when you’re travelling with your family, everything takes longer than usual. From checking in at the airport, getting through security, picking up snacks and drinks, to boarding a plane, and just about everything else. So be sure to get to the airport early and leave plenty of time for things to go wrong. It's a nightmare rushing to reach the plane because of one of the things where all of you get held up with something- So take it easy and keep plenty of additional time to enjoy a relaxed airport experience. Keeping extra time is something that you should apply to all parts of your trip. This is because when you are travelling with children, it will be difficult to enjoy jam packed itineraries with multiple things on your agenda. You just have to remind yourself that it’s ok to do less and appreciate a slow travel experience. One thing that applies to kids of all ages is that less is more. Meaning try to ensure that you schedule in no more than half a day of structured activity and sightseeing while taking the rest of the day easy. You can enjoy some downtime and just unwind for the rest of the day. Do remain wary of focusing too much on educational experiences for your kids and taking the fun away from their trip. As while some museums and historical sites can be exciting but too many will bore younger audiences sucking all the fun out of travel. Try to find a balance so the trip is a good experience for everyone. Try to preplan, schedule and book as much as you can in advance so that when you arrive, you can go straight to your lodging, drop off bags, and give your children some time to rest. This holds particular importance for long travel days. If you need assistance in booking, talk to one of our travel advisors at Zahara Travel for lodging, activities and transport options. Don’t stress and pack thousands of things on possibility and try to narrow down the essentials of what you will definitely need to ensure a smooth trip and things that can’t be bought at the destination. Travel is difficult enough without lugging around giant bags everywhere and the less you start with, the easier it is to pack up after stops, with lesser stuff you need to carry everywhere, and the more room for souvenirs that you can bring back from your trip. On the other hand don’t forget essentials like a first-aid kit, and anything that will make your trip smoother. If you’re travelling to a foreign country, while the Zahara Travel team will be there with you every step of the way, memorize the emergency helpline numbers and save the embassy contact numbers. If you’re headed to a country where the quality of the local medical care may be questionable, talk to our travel advisors at Zahara Travel to buy a travel insurance policy that will evacuate you and your family members back to a country of your choice should a medical emergency strike. Every parent knows the frustration of those times when your kids are being overly picky, don’t want to try any new foods, and just eat snacks and junk food. Sometimes it is best to relax a little and take it as an opportunity for both you and your kids to unwind and indulge yourselves a little while on vacation. We are not saying let them binge on sugary stuff and snacks all day, every day, but allow them a little more leeway than you normally would, and and easy way to guard against too much junk food is by ensuring that there are lots of healthy snacks available. On the topic of food, we’ve all faced the situation when you visit a new country excited to sample some of the local cuisines, and your kids may refuse to try anything new. Instead of trying to force the issue, try dining at restaurants that offer at least one dish that your children will eat so as to not aggravate both yourself and the children. While travelling alone with school-age and teenaged children, consider a group tour because it will take the stress of planning an itinerary off your plate for even though older kids may not need to be managed as much but travelling with kids is always stressful and you should keep things as easy as possible so you can focus on your trip and the family instead of worrying about logistics. Besides with the right family-friendly tour options, both you and your children can enjoy being part of a built-in social structure. If you’re travelling with another parent or adult, you should share duties. For example while one person buys the tickets the other can watch the children. Make sure that if you’re travelling alone with the kids, have them sit in your line of sight while you take care of business because it is common for children to wander off if bored. To safeguard against worst case scenarios give your children your contact information so if they get lost despite your best efforts, you can get back together. Your contact information should include everything important you can think of such as your name, phone number, email address, and local address. For young kids it may be simper to put a note in one of their pockets or tie a little card somewhere on their person as long as they know where to find it. Help older kids memorise your phone number and email address. Write down the local addresses you plan to stay for them or have them save the information on their mobile phones. At the end of the day you mustang remember that your going on vacation and regardless of how carefully you plan, things may still go sideways at times. But keep in mind that these stumbles are all part of the adventure of travelling so embrace them, relish the journey, and enjoy your vacation to the fullest.

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