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Archive for the ‘Traveler Destinations’ Category

An epic day trip from Buenos Aires to Colonia del Sacramento in Uruguay

An epic day trip from Buenos Aires to Colonia del Sacramento in Uruguay.

Top 3 North American Destinations for Houseboating

Houseboating offers an exotic means of exploring the wonders of North America, and according to MSN, this means of travel can be surprisingly affordable—often costing less than $1,000 a month for ownership. Whether you own for year-round boating or choose to rent for a leisurely family-friendly getaway, North America offers a variety of exciting destinations for boating enthusiast. Here are the top three to explore.

Ontario, Canada: Hudson Bay and Lake Superior

Photo by Balcer via Wikimedia Commons

At first glance, Ontario might not seem like the most obvious houseboating destination, but the Canadian province offers several excellent boating opportunities dotting the coast of the Hudson Bay and Lake Superior. These bodies of water echo the vast feel of the ocean, while also offering great views of Ontario’s unique woodland scenery. Because of the occasionally volatile nature of Lake Superior, it’s important that anyone boating there maintains a thorough understanding of essential houseboat operations. Prior to stepping aboard, make sure you have taken the proper boater exams from BoaterExam.com, for example, and are familiar with the boating regulations specific to Ontario.

Florida’s IntraCoastal Waterway

Photo by Robert DeMeo via Wikimedia Commons

If you have time to spare for a longer houseboat vacation, you’ll want to consider navigating the Intracoastal Waterway. This 3,000 mile waterway runs along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts, providing a safe alternative to the dangers typically encountered while boating on the open sea. Of course, few vacationers possess the time required to travel along the full length of the Intracoastal Waterway, which is why many choose to focus on the portion found along Florida’s coast. This condensed option offers access to both the Atlantic and the Gulf Coast, while also allowing boaters to enjoy sweeping views of Florida’s beaches and swamps. The state’s department of tourism recommends vigilantly watching for such potential hazards as bridges and deep waters, as both of these can create significant risks for distracted boaters.

New York’s Lake Champlain and Adirondack Park

Photo by Travisleehardin via Wikimedia Commons

Houseboat Magazine recommends Lake Champlain as the boating destination of choice for anyone on the hunt for a relaxed family vacation. Straddling Vermont, New York and Quebec, the expansive inland lake offers plenty of opportunities for mainland exploration to suit all ages. The section of the lake falling within the borders of New York is particularly beautiful, as much of it is part of the state’s famous Adirondack Park. Adirondack Park is the largest park and National Historic Area in the contiguous United States. It continuously draws in and enchants visitors with its intersection of Lake Champlain and the Adirondack Mountains, according to the official Adirondack Park Agency. While you’re there, enjoy a leisurely boating excursion along Lake Champlain’s coast, then enjoy some time on land while hiking in the great Adirondacks.

Driving In Europe On Vacation – Why You Need To Prepare!

European map satellite view

For many Americans, a chance to visit Europe is the vacation of a lifetime. Whether you want to check out London with its historic buildings and unique culture, relax in the sunshine in Greece, explore Italy or maybe even see where your ancestors came from, there are loads of reasons to make the trip across the Atlantic, and it has never been cheaper, either! Of course, once you get to your country of choice, you are probably going to already have a lot of things in mind to see and do, and while compared with the US, places like England and Sweden may look tiny on a map, when you’re there things suddenly seem a lot further away than you may have imagined! For this reason, most people prefer to hire a car, and while this is generally an option for most American license holders in accordance with the laws in the country you are visiting (you may have to be over 25 or have a certain number of years’ driving experience), this doesn’t automatically mean you’ll find it easy on the roads.

Here are some reasons to prepare before you attempt driving anywhere in Europe for the first time:

Road Signs Can Be Baffling

Yield sign in Europe

While Europe is united, it is by no means standardized when it comes to road signs. This means if you are familiar with how the colors and symbols work in Germany, things will all change should you cross a border. It doesn’t take long to read up on what the traffic safety controls in the country you are going to look like, and it really pays to do this so you can understand when you are reaching a junction and things like what color sign points to a major road and what will take you down a scary country track. You should also work out the conversion ratio between miles and kilometers, because with the exception of Britain, everywhere in Europe displays distances and speed limits in the metric system. Of course, while in Britain the signs may all be in English and tell you things in familiar mile measurements, here you’ll be driving on the opposite side of the road, which isn’t really something you can prepare for in advance but is worth thinking about!

Touring

motorcycle-tours-174956_150Many people who visit Europe plan to go through more than one country (another reason why understanding the different traffic control equipment used in different places you’ll visit is important), and while this can be easy to do, you may find that there are places where you can cross borders without even being aware you have done it right away! If you are planning to tour, really research your route so you know at what point you might leave Germany and enter the Netherlands, for example, and stick to your plan so you don’t end up straying between countries where you didn’t intend to.

Driving in Europe can vary between being remarkably easy and pleasant to downright terrifying depending on where you are and how far off the beaten track you venture, so read up and plan ahead as much as you can!

Travis Finn, the author of this article, works with, Bo Phillips, leading providers of work-zone safety equipment. He is fascinated by Astronomy and often visits the planetarium to observe the movement of the stars.

Save-cation Destinations for Christmas Celebration

Christmas cookies

The winters have arrived and so the celebrations of Christmas. Yes, the “jingle bells” have started ringing and you are about to experience the fun and romp of Christmas. It is one of the joyful festivities where people forget their differences, indulge in fun filled activities, put on their best clothes and visit various churches and make 25th of December worth remembering. Don’t you want to make your day a special one? Don’t you want to visit the best places where you can celebrate your Christmas carnival along with your friends and family? Don’t you want to click those beautiful pictures of your near and dear ones on this wonderful day? Of course you would want to relish all the enjoyments.

Know the best places to make your trip a memorable one

Step out of your home to make your Christmas memorable. Be it friends, family or kids, go out and explore the jaw-dropping places.

Lapland, Finland

Snow Lapland, Finland

Lapland is located near the Arctic Circle in the north. This place has myriads of holiday revelers who actually know how to celebrate Christmas. Apart from this kids would love to Lapland again and again they would be taught calligraphy and to compose their own wish-lists with the help of the traditional quills! Attractions like Rauna zoo is a great place where you would be deluged by a number of animals.

Quebec, Canada

Quebec during christmas timeDo you like things that are made up of recycled materials? Then Quebec is for the environment lovers. You would see the eye catching trees that are made out of recycled metals of sheets and lights that are powered by the cyclists! The sausage lovers, you will be flooded by sausages in the German Christmas market.

Strasbourg, France

Strasbourg christmas market

It is a wonderland where you would get a plenty tralatitious Christmas biscuits, apricots and foie-gras. This place is packed with innumerable concerts like gypsy jazz and other cultural events. You will be welcomed by the Christmas theme party and ample of Alsatian wine.

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

It is a colorful city where Christmas is a celebratory event. You would see grand churches and welcomed with awesome fruit drinks. The locals over there make pilgrimages for shelter when they start their journey to Bethlehem.

Lalibela, Ethiopia

Travel 200 miles from Addis Ababa and you land in this famous place where churches have been unearthed from the ground. Lalibela has been declared as the “New Jerusalem”. The decorations done are so attractive that you will not feel like coming to your home.

Dyker Heights, Brooklyn

Christmas-Dyker-Heights-Brooklyn

The lovely gander where you would see how amazingly the New Yorkers celebrate Christmas. The passer-by definitely ogles at the decorations and the beautifully made over-sized toys and the two-story Santa. The lightings are so beautiful that will make you click thousands of pictures.

Barcelona, Spain

If you can manage to come to this family-friendly place, then nothing better than Barcelona. You can catch up with Gaspar, Melchior and Balthasar. The fireworks, firing of canons, the parade is worth watching.

Queenstown, New Zealand

For the sun-lovers, this is the place where you are supposed to be. The jet boat ride, river surfing and paragliding just sounds so thrilling and adventurous. For the ones who do not want to sit under the quilts, this is the right place for them. Be a water mermaid and swim through the happiness.

Manila, Philippines

From September till January who will have a wonderful experience of Christmas. The longest ever celebrated festival has been in the Philippines. Christmas bazaars and lantern parades are the major attractions. Take out sometime of your busy schedule to enjoy the breath taking scenarios here.

New York City, USA

Rockefeller Center Christmas tree (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Ogle through the world tallest Christmas tree and dive into the lights and the dusty snow in USA. Click pictures, eat as much as you want and dance till you get tired. These are the fun moments you would get in New York.

Traveling to these places won’t pinch your pocket much. With Flight details , you can utilize the facility provided by the company to know the budget airlines that fly en route the location you wish to travel. Get the tickets and fly to your favorite destination this Christmas!

Benefits Of Skiing As Holiday Exercise

Descending on a ski slop

If you are planning a holiday, you have probably browsed through a lot of destinations and checked different activities online or on travel brochures. But have you ever thought of having a skiing holiday? Getting exercise and being fit in this busy world is often a challenge especially if you are in the corporate world where you are tied to a desk or has a career that takes a lot of demands on your time. The only real free time that you have for your own is when you take a vacation. This is then an ideal time for you to get fit as well. Of course skiing is not going to make you lose that 20 extra pounds in a week or two but it is certainly a way to hit two birds in one stone; enjoy yourself in a different surroundings and get the exercise you need.

Effective Exercise

Skiing can help you to shed up to 5 pounds in a span of 7 days; this is if you spend 6 hours of everyday going up and down that slope and burning 3000 calories. You get to tone your muscles, boost your immune system and have a cheerful sense well being in the process.

Here are some of the things you can look forward to if you decide to use ski for your exercise. 

Skiing needs balance

The effort of keeping yourself steady on the piste which is intent on making you slip is a demonstration of dexterity. Your stomach muscles are working overtime to keep your body upright and in turn are making you toned without having to go through thousands of sit ups.

First Rate Cardio

Cardio exercises are absolutely necessary for keeping healthy. Elevated heart rate is good for circulation of the blood which is responsible for distributing the oxygen and nutrients throughout the body as well as eliminating waste. Skiing allows the heart to pump more oxygen through the blood, expanding muscles and thus burning calories. Continuous skiing for 30 minutes is comparable to the same time spent doing cardio exercises. Add walking up the slope instead of taking the ski lift and you are on your way to a great workout.

Get Great Looking Legs

If you have ever despaired of having thighs that will not slim down, try skiing and you will be giving your thighs, hamstrings and buttocks a run while crouching your way through the slopes. It certainly beats having to do lunges for half an hour right? And it exercises both your upper and lower arms without doing a different set of exercise as you strive to control your speed and the direction you are going.

If you are not a beginner, look for the more challenging slopes because the steeper it is, the higher the number of calories you can burn. Plus the freezing temperature contributes a share in burning those calories.

So for your vacation this time around, forget about traipsing in the jungle or sunning on a beach. Take a skiing holiday and achieve a flawless technique on the piste while keeping your body fit.

Anthony Roberts, the writer, has been traveling around the world while working online. His articles on travel are must-reads. He loves to share his ideas about enjoying skiing holidays. His favorite adventure is visiting Japan. Find out more of his stories on skiing hanazononiseko.com/npc/.

Four Beautiful Fall Foliage Tours for Motorcyclists

Foliage photo over the hills sunsetPhoto credit: ForestWander

 

Fall leaves are peaking all over the United States. The brilliant yellows, oranges and reds are in full swing from the Midwest, Central Plains, Northeast and upper Northwest, according to Stormfax.com. Here are peak foliage times for a few favorites:

  • Minnesota, Wisconsin and most of the Midwest peak in mid-October
  • Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado and northern Arizona and New Mexico mostly mid- to late-October
  • Northern New England states from late September through mid-October
  • Missouri, southern Illinois and Indiana, Kentucky Tennessee and the lower New England states through late-October
  • Parts of Oregon and northern California, and a thin belt through northern Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia through early November

Here are a few favorites for motorcyclists:

Skyline Drive, Va.

Photo by Maisnam via Wikimedia Commons

 

This 105-mile stretch of road carves its way through the beautiful Shenandoah National Park. In the fall, the panoramic vistas are simply stunning. The only drawback is the weekend traffic in autumn is typically bumper to bumper. Avoid it by heading to the park early on a weekday, when traffic is typically lighter. Or, look at it this way: Crawling traffic allows you more time to enjoy the scenery. For info about attractions in the area check Skyline Drive.

Tunnel of Trees, Mich.

Photo by ellenm1 via Flickr

 

The beautiful Tunnel of Trees road, which skirts Lake Michigan’s eastern shoreline, is a motorcyclist’s dream come true. It’s a narrow, two-lane 22-mile-long road surrounded — as the name implies — by trees that are simply stunning in the fall. This road offers some twists, but the speed limit is low for this pleasure ride, and not one meant to challenge your maneuverability. Start this ride in Harbor Springs, Mich. View the route here

Route 100, Vt.

Photo by Patrick via Wikimedia Commons

 

New England is still considered by many to be the ultimate leaf peeping destination. Mass Audubon reports that more than 1 million tourists descend on the area during the leaf-peeping season, which injects more than $1 billion into the local economy. Motorcycle.com says Vermont’s Route 100 is one of the prettiest roads that typifies all New England has to offer — colorful leaves, picturesque farmland and rolling hills. This 200-mile road stretches from roughly Wilmington, Vt. to almost the Canadian border. Take a virtual tour here.

Pig Trail Scenic Byway, Ozark, Ark.

Photo by mabecerra via Flickr

 

Located in the heavily wooded Boston Mountains in the Ozarks, the 19-mile Pig Trail is one of the best rides in the South. In some sections, you will find yourself riding through a tunnel of brilliantly colored foliage. Legend has it the trail got its name in honor of University of Arkansas Razorback fans and students. Read more here.

Before You Head Out

  • StormFax has a list of fall foliage hotlines to help you plan your trip.
  • Book hotels as soon as you can; they fill up quickly during the fall. Use an app like TripAdvisor for alerts about sudden weather changes.
  • We know you know this, but give your bike a once-over before hitting the highway. You can find high quality, cheap motorcycle tires that won’t take a big bite from your travel budget.
  • Motorcycle Tours offers guide-led tours, if you’d prefer to ride with an experience foliage fan.
  • Check the weather and be prepared for severe temperature changes, especially in mountainous areas.

10 Reasons To Visit Croatia Before It’s Over Run With Tourists

Plitvice Blue and green waterfall in CroatiaPhoto credit: paradise under Creative Common license

One of the hottest spots in Europe today is Croatia and Aussies are flocking to this amazing country on the Adriatic Sea like seagulls to a chip!  And with good reason too. With heaps of attractions, an incredible climate and ancient European history, this is one county that should not be missed on your backpacker adventure or holiday.

This may be a small country but they pack a lot of fun in one little area, so get warmed up because there’s a lot to see and do.  Here are just some of the great adventures in store.

The Lucice bay near Milna, Brac, CroatiaLicense: Creative Commons image source

1. Nightlife

Ok, let’s ask the obvious question first.  What’s the scene like?  Well, Croatia is a party nation and known for its excellent handcrafted beer – and who doesn’t love a good beer, right?  There are loads of bars and clubs spinning the tunes to the small hours throughout the country.  For a more mellow time be sure to check out the trendy pubs within the ancient old city of Dubrovnik overlooking the stunning coastline and sample a local lager.

Dancing at the bar in Croatia

2. Café Culture

Croatia has a Mediterranean feel so it’s no surprise that you’ll find great outdoor cafes and corner bistros with the best coffee to kick start you in the morning or any time of day.  Check out Zagreb’s British Square and weekend markets on your way to the close by Eliscaffe for some of the best coffee anywhere.

3. Walls of Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik The Pearl of the Adriatic

Photo Copyright: © UNESCO Author: Francesco Bandarin

Dubrovnik fortress ancient walls

The ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’, situated on the Dalmatian coast, Dubrovnik became an important Mediterranean sea power from the 13th century onwards. Although severely damaged by an earthquake in 1667, Dubrovnik managed to preserve its beautiful Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque churches, monasteries, palaces and fountains. Damaged again in the 1990s by armed conflict, it is now the focus of a major restoration program co-ordinated by UNESCO. Centuries old, the walls of Dubrovnik will take you back to the Middle Ages.  Complete with towers and forts, the stone walls encircle the old city and stretch for almost two kilometers.  Once used as a defensive fortification, the walls today are one of Croatia’s biggest and most important historic sites.

4. Hvar City and the Paklinski Islands

Hvar has one of the most beautiful harbors in all of Europe.  The gorgeous and historic little harbor contains the nearby Paklinski Islands just off shore which are popular for swimming, diving, boating and fishing.  This is the perfect place for a Mediterranean style holiday.  The sea is visible from the city square and the all night club scene in Hvar City are a big hit with international visitors.

Hvar town plaza by the docking station

5. Pula Arena

Even if you’re not a lover of history, you can’t help but be blown away by the two thousand year old Pula Arena.  This incredible stone amphitheater of Roman architecture is one of the best preserved ancient sites in all of Europe.  The site was used for blood thirsty gladiator and convict combats up to the fifth century.

6. Temple of Augustus

Candles and ancient statue on Croatian islandThis exceptionally preserved Roman temple was dedicated to the first Roman emperor, Augustus and is over two thousand years old.  That’s pretty amazing when you consider that the oldest buildings in Australia are maybe 150 years old.  Located in Pula not far from the gladiator arena, it’s the perfect chance to check out the rare Roman structures that still stand.

7. Diocletian’s Palace

This stunning walled palace on the AdriaticCoast is in the heart of Split and contains the city’s most historic sites.  These centuries old Roman structures still stand strong and incredibly many are used for shops and homes.  Be sure not to miss this centuries old site because it’s one of the most treasured places in the entire Adriatic and Mediterranean region.

8. Zlatni Rat 

Zlatny Rat beach on the island of Brac

Wow, if you’re a beach lover you’ll have to make your way to the Zlatni Rat beach on the southern coast of the island of Brac.  If you’re an adventure lover this is a great place for windsurfing and swimming.  To entice you further, several of the western areas are clothing optional.  Definitely a fun place to chill and enjoy the blue Adriatic waters.

9. Krka National Park

What adventurous backpacker wouldn’t love a good hike?  Located in the Krka National Park just north of the city of Sibenik, the Krka River is 73km long and has some amazing river path hiking trails.  The river is known for its many waterfalls and pristine forest lined banks as well as two historic monasteries nearby.

10. Sipan Island

A tiny street on a Croatian islandWhen the history, clubbing and nightlife have gotten the best of you, it’s time to head to the islands with your new found Croatian mates.  Sipan, located just 17km northwest of Dubrovnik is the largest of the Elaphiti Islands with a population of less than 800.  The stunning village with its stone facades, quaint harbor and amazing coastline offer a relaxing getaway among palm trees and lush gardens.  Ahh, time to chill with some of that famous Croatian beer and wine!

As you can see, there is so much to do in this pint size country, but what they lack in size they make up for in substance.

Town by the sea in Croatia

If you’re up for an adventure this country is a great backpacker destination, easy to navigate, reasonably cheap and one that’s still slightly under the radar of most mainstream tourists – but not for long so enjoy while you can and head to Student Flights for more travel advice on Croatia.

Author: Todd Sturm+ enjoys being out in nature and uncovering local history when traveling.  Whether it’s at home or when traveling, Todd enjoys the simple pleasures – a glass of wine, good bread and cheese and great company in a beautiful historic setting – al fresco of course!  
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