Preparing for a Road Trip Adventure

california-road-highway-mountains-63324

Image Source

Road trips are experiencing a spike in popularity. This isn’t all too surprising. It’s an extremely liberating way to travel the world and allows you to see all sorts of beautiful scenery and landscapes along the way. However, it’s extremely important that you prioritise your health, safety, and wellbeing at all times when you take to the open road. Here are just a few pieces of advice that can help to improve your journey!

Driving Responsibly

Whenever you take to the road, you need to be a responsible driver. But this takes a little more attention when you are driving in unfamiliar territory. When you are traversing long distances on roads that you haven’t travelled on before, you are going to have to be a lot more vigilant with keeping an eye on street signs, road markings, and lanes. When you conduct a road trip, you are also likely to spend longer periods of time than usual behind the wheel. Stay alert by taking breaks as and when needed. You could also consider partnering up with someone else who can drive during your trip, which will allow you to share driving responsibilities with someone else.

Knowing What to Do in an Incident

If you spend more time on the roads, you are more likely to witness or be involved in some sort of road incident. It’s important that you know what to do if you do find yourself in a road accident of any sort. The first step that you need to take is to stop your vehicle. Then check whether you are well and uninjured. If you aren’t injured, check everyone else involved. If you or anyone else is injured, call for medical assistance. You may want to seek legal help for car crash victims down the line. If nobody is injured, exchange insurance details and take photographs of any damage to the vehicles involved.

Avoiding Hitchhikers

It’s relatively easy to understand why some people choose to pick up hitchhikers. They tend to be relatively vulnerable looking individuals who simply want to get from A to B. Generally, they have no other means of getting around and many people consequently take pity on them and take it upon themselves to reduce the distance that they have to walk by picking them up and dropping them off along the route they’re already travelling. If you are travelling alone, a hitchhiker might also seem like welcome company and conversation. However, by picking up hitchhikers, you place yourself in an extremely vulnerable situation. You, too, will be in a confined space with an absolute stranger. You can never truly know that this individual is going to be a good person with no bad intentions. Generally speaking, it’s best to avoid picking up hitchhikers at all costs.

These are just a few different pieces of advice to bear in mind when preparing your next road trip adventure!

Your Next Holiday Will Be Your Best

We’re predicting it for you right now. Your next holiday is more than likely going to be your best, and it definitely won’t be your last. We’ve sai more than likely, because a lot of you might just disregard the information we’re about to list below for you. But what you don’t realise is that the information listed below for you is the key to a better holiday. Everyone deserves to have one of those holidays that is just a cut above the rest every once in a while as well. The ones where you sit and think, ‘omg, as if we just had a holiday like that!’. If you haven’t thought that before, and the most you think is that you’ve got an excellent tan from sitting on the beach all day, then times are seriously about to change for you. We love holidays, we love everything about them. Which is why we don’t want you to to miss out on making sure that your next holiday is definitely your best! Have a read on, and totally transform the way that you think about going on holiday.

holiday-3220774_1280.jpgImage Source

Think Outside The Box

If you don’t think outside the box with your holiday, you’re always going to go for the same type of holiday. Let us demonstrate. We bet that the first thing you do when thinking about taking a trip abroad, is open up your laptop, and go straight to the tour operator that you trust the most. Or, you’ll walk into your local travel agents, and you’ll sit down with the same traveller advisor that you always do, and book the same kind of holiday. Well, now we think it’s time for you to think outside of the box just a little bit. To come up with something that will change the way you view holidays. One way we think you should do that is by booking everything separate. You wouldn’t believe the amount of luxury hotels that are out there, but just don’t connect themselves with the tour operators you use. Not only could you save a hell of a lot of money by doing this, you’re also just experiencing something a little more unique in a way. You could even search for your own apartment to rent out for the duration of your trip, and then go self catered. To some of you, going self catered is like the antichrist of a holidays. You want to be waited on, right? Well, who is to say that you can’t go out for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and experience some of the finest foods that you definitely wouldn’t get to experience if you were to go self catered.

Treat Yourself To Something Fancy

Again, something you probably don’t do. It’s not often that the all inclusive options you go for will usually offer something fancy, so it’s time to go out there and find it for yourself. There are so many different excursions that will allow you to experience something a little upmarket. Yes, we are implying that you should get off your bum, and go out and do something! If you have a look at this blog, you will find a review of some of the best wineries in Napa Valley. Now, even if wine tasting just isn’t your thing, it’s definitely something that you should be considering. The views you get are absolutely amazing, and a lot of these excursions actually come as a package. You get to try some nice food, you get a tour round all of the winery, and you obviously get to try some amazing wine. They’re usually not that expensive either, and most of the time they’re an all day thing in the blazing hot sun. If you want a bit of fine dining and elegance, we would definitely recommend giving a trip to a winery a go.

As well as this, you could think about treating yourself to a little shopping trip. If you don’t go on holiday and buy something for yourself from the shops, are you really holidaying right? The shops abroad seem to have so many choices, and you’ll find brands that you’re not usually used to wearing.  There’s just something so exciting about going on holiday and going on a little shopping trip, more so than if you were to go shopping when you’re back at home. Top tip, the jewelry always seems to be more flashy, yet cheaper, in countries such as the Caribbean and Spain.

Go With Someone Different

If you’re always going on a holiday with your partner, or your family, you’re only allowing yourself to experience the same sort of vibe. If you’re a family holiday type of person, all you’ll most likely do is sit around the pool, take the kids to the beach or waterpark, and repeat. Don’t get us wrong, it is so lovely to see them having so much fun, and you’ll just be able to make so many memories along the way, both for you and for them. If you go with your partner, then holidays usually are more special. It’s always so nice to get away and have some quality time together, we often don’t seem to have enough of it. But, one holiday we definitely all need from time to time is a best friend holiday. They’re just made for fun, laughs, and having too much to drink. If you haven’t planned a holiday with your best friend before, we definitely think you should start talking about it today.

Go Somewhere A Bit Off The GridFinally, if you want an experience like no other, you have to go to a place like no other. We’re always so focused on going to some of the mainstream holiday destinations out there, when in fact, the world has so much more to offer than that. This link gives you just a few examples of some off the grid places you could visit. You never know, it could be the best holiday you’ve ever been on!

5 Alternative Ways to Spend an Afternoon at the Beach

If you live in the city or struggle to find the time to make a trip to the beach, you are probably happy to spend the time that you do get relaxing in the sun, reading books, paddling in the sea or playing with your family. You probably look forward to ice creams and strolls in the warm shallow waters. The idea of doing almost nothing can be most appealing.

If, however, you rent an oceanfront vacation home, or you live by the beach full time, you might have had enough of lying about in the sand. You might long for something a little more interesting. Here are five alternative ways to spend an afternoon at the beach.

Get in the Water

photo-1503582109359-5f4b8962d560

Credit – https://unsplash.com/photos/S-ldf8jqZLg

Unless you are a keen surfer, your trips to the beach probably include very little time in the water. Most of us stick to the sand and rarely go in above our knees. If you are getting a bit bored of the sand, why not throw yourself into the water. Go for a swim in the sea, which can feel very different to swimming in a swimming pool. Or, have a go at some water sports like water skiing or paddle boarding.

Try Some Seafood

Seafood is best by the sea. It’s fresh, it’s expertly cooked or prepared, and there’s more variety than anywhere else. If you usually stick to foods that you know at your days on the beach, why not try something different?

If you a house at the beach, why not try cooking some seafood or preparing some sushi for yourself? Take a look at the best seafood recipes online, buy the freshest ingredients and spend time experimenting with flavors and techniques.

Paint

There’s something about being out in the fresh air that makes us all feel a little more creative, and the scenery around the sea gives you plenty to draw inspiration from. Take a good look around you, set up an easel or take a sketchbook and have a go at painting or drawing what you can see.

If painting isn’t your thing, grab a camera and go for a walk around the sand dunes and rock pools. Take some photos of nature and enjoy getting back in touch with the world around you while exploring your creativity.

Go Fishing

Some people love fishing. Others, just don’t get it. The idea of sitting for hours waiting for a bite just doesn’t appeal. But, fishing at sea is a little different. It’s bigger. It’s more adventurous and more exciting. If you’ve never tried it, sea fishing might not be what you expect and is certainly worth trying.

Build a Sandcastle

photo-1429153742392-20888235a444

Credit – https://unsplash.com/photos/0dxDl52u58Y

Building sandcastles is something that kids love, but adults rarely do. Let your inner child out and get building. It can be relaxing and interesting. It’s a free way to get creative, and you’ll probably find that it gets you talking to a lot of passers-by. Many beaches host sandcastle building contests that you could enter. Just remember, you’re not tied to castles. You can build a vast range of structures with sand. You just need your imagination.

Tips for Anyone Travelling Down the East Coast

With so much unique stuff to see and do, it’s hardly surprising that so many people enjoy travelling down the East Coast of America each year. You can move between different cities and states, and experience the kinds of things you’ve never ever experienced before. If you’re new to this part of America, it really will be an experience that you never forget.

There are some things you should make sure you do on this trip though, as well as things you should know that will make the experience much better and much smoother for you. We’re going to talk about all those things now, so read on for some essential tops for anyone planning on travelling down the East Coast of America.

Plan Your Route and Know the Busiest Roads

It’s worth planning out your route carefully before you head anywhere on the East Coast. Look at a local traffic report for the location you’re in and make sure that you’re avoiding the busiest roads at the busiest times. The traffic can be pretty terrible at times, and you’ll want to avoid the worst of it. So plan your route out as best you can and take steps to avoid sitting in huge jams for too long at a time.

Get Off the Beaten Track

Getting off the beaten track is a must when you’re taking any kind of road trips. Sure, the major towns and cities along the way are all great, and you’ll have a wonderful time seeing and exploring them. But there’s so much more tro travelling the East Coast than simply spending time in the major cities. Head to places like New Haven and Charleston along the way. These places might be a little off your beaten track but they’re worth it.

Spend Plenty of Time in New York City

Yes, we just said that you should get off the beaten track, but that’s not to say the beaten travel is all that. And in the case of New York City, it’s actually pretty amazing and frankly unmissable. If you haven’t been to NYC before or you feel like you haven’t spent enough time there, you should definitely make the most of this opportunity to enjoy it and spend as much time as you can there.

nyc-1298381_1280

Image Source

Don’t Rush Things

It’s important not to rush this trip if you can help it because when you give yourself the chance to spend more time in each place and visit more of those small towns along the way, you will have so many more unique experiences. There’s so much to see on the East Coast, so rushing down it is only going to mean you miss out on things that you really won’t want to miss out on, so take your time.

Explore American History in Washington

Washington is another place that you’re definitely going to want to stop off at during this whole trip. When you spend time in Washington, you get the chance to really explore and delve into American history and what made this country the way it is. There’s actually a lot to do, see and discover in Washington, so if you’ve never really spent time there before, that’s something that should definitely change.

Take Friends

Having some great friends come along for the right and enjoy the whole journey with you has got to be a good thing. So if you’re planning this big trip, don’t do it alone. See if you can find a close friend of two that want to come along and enjoy it alongside you. When you have the right company, it makes the whole journey and the whole experience so much more enjoyable.

Finish Things Off in Miami

Miami is the natural end point of any long trip down the East Coast, and it’s an amazing city that’s capable of capping off any trip of this kind. It’s a stunning city, and it’s the perfect place to spend time during the summer. You can take to the waters on a boat or simply enjoy the sun and the beautiful beaches before bringing this whole trip to its final conclusion.

miami-beach-1636595_1280

Image Source

There’s so much to see and do along the East Coasts and so many fantastic states to explore. You should make the most of the chance to experience everything that’s on offer in this varied and interesting part of the country. If you haven’t made a trip like this before, you’ll have a great time.

Top US Hiking Destinations For an Outdoor Adventure

If the varied and undulating terrain of the US is calling your name, then you must be a fan of the great outdoors. And from east coast to west of the United States of America, there are a variety of great places to visit for a walking or outdoor adventure vacation. It isn’t all about Route 66 and the ‘typical’ tourist spots. So where will it be to next? Here are some of the best places to take a walking vacation in the good ol’ USA.

 

image

Glacier National Park, Montana

If you are looking for a place that is pretty far away from the bright lights and busyness of a city, then Glacier National Park is one of the top spots. It has over 700 miles of walking trails, mixed with lakes, glaciers, and everything in between. As such, you’ll need to make sure that you’ve got all of the right equipment for your walk. So it can be worth looking online to find out more about the kind of clothing you’d need to pack for a hiking or climbing trip. The park is full of wildlife as well, and you may spot elk, wild goats, and even grizzly bear.

Yosemite, California

There are plenty of popular trails in the Yosemite Park, but with it being so huge, you are likely to not bump into too many people. So make sure that you have a route planned out or that you bring a map and a compass. It is one of the most stunning places in the us, though, with the famous (and huge) redwood trees. It is breathtaking!

Grand Canyon, Arizona

Can a list about walking trails in the US be complete without the mention of the Grand Canyon? I think not. But it does deserve its place here as it is a fantastic destination for an outdoor adventure or walking vacation. There are miles and miles to hike with varying levels of challenge too. The south rim is simpler and more popular, but the north rim has the more challenging Kaibab Trail.

Lake Tahoe, Nevada/California Border

Lake Tahoe, as the name suggests, is a large lake full of panoramic views and plenty of walks. It is a fairly flat area so is popular with families, beginners to hiking, cyclists, and even runners. There are some treks like Eagle Rock and the Mount Tallac Trail, but they are both pretty steady, with Eagle Rock only being half a mile to the summit. And be sure to visit in the sun for the walks, as it is all about skiing or snowshoeing in the winter months.

Canyonlands National Park, UtahThe red rocks of the Utah based National Park is a must for hikers as it is such a stunning place to walk. There are plenty of National Parks in Utah to choose from, but Canyonlands is one of the top ones. It was made famous by the ‘127 Hours’ book and movie, where a man was trapped in the Blue John Canyon in the Canyonlands National Park.

A Getaway To The Gateway City! Exploring St. Louis

st-louis-996718_1280

Sometimes, with all of the advice out there to live like a local when you head into a specific destination, you actually want to appreciate the amazing aspects of a chosen place only, not the warts and all parts! Sometimes the option to be a tourist can throw up so many wonderful experiences that you’re better off putting your tourist cap on. St. Louis is one of those places that seems purpose-built for tourism, especially when you really delve deep. So, let’s have a look at what we can really do.

Head Up The Gateway Arch

You can’t talk about St. Louis without mentioning this world famous monument. If you’re feeling particularly brave, you can take a ride up this 630-foot structure and look at St. Louis like a bird in the sky. Naturally, if you’re not so keen on heights, this may not be a big draw, but you can head to the nearby Jefferson National Expansion Memorial and see where Lewis and Clark set off on their cruise down the Mississippi river!

Feeling Sociable?

If you’re looking for a night, as with anywhere, you are spoilt for choice. But what do you really want from the tourist side of things? There are plenty of escape rooms in St. Louis, such as Mastermind Room Escape or Escape The Room, but if you’re looking for a more relaxing evening with music and bars, you can head to the ballpark village St. Louis for some sports-themed entertainment. If food and drink is more your style, there are plenty of restaurants that serve fresh Asian cuisine, like Lonas Lil Eats, or if you’re wanting more traditional Italian fare, you can head to the Hill neighborhood which is famous for Italian cuisine. If you’ve got the delectable sweet tooth, frozen custard at Ted Drewes will provide you with the most exquisite brain freeze!

For The People Craving Some Education…

Being a tourist is about learning a little something about the place. Luckily in St. Louis you’ve got plenty of options. You can head to the Museum Of Contemporary Religious Art which, as the name suggests, provides plenty of religious iconography. If you are keen to ingratiate yourself with the religious side of things, you could head to the National Shrine Of Our Lady Of The Snow and attend mass (as well as get something tasty in your stomach). And if religion isn’t your thing, you can head to the Saint Louis Science Center and experience the planetarium and go through time at the Omnimax theater, as well as seeing up close and personal a life-size tyrannosaurus rex. Be careful, this is animatronic and will move, so if you’ve got children of a sensitive disposition, be careful.

For a luxurious experience of Middle America, St. Louis has more than we can list here. But when you are looking to get a feel for the place, you don’t always have to treat it as if you’re a local. Get some knowledge of the big tourist attractions and you will be surprised as to how much you and your family will enjoy the place, and feel none of those famous “Saint Louis Blues”!

 

3 Ways To Lose Yourself In Southern California

Many people who love travel say that they do it to “find themselves.” But most of us actually spend too much time with ourselves, concerned with our own needs, and not enough time focusing on the external world. When people say that they go travelling to find themselves, do they mean “lose themselves” instead?

Losing oneself while travelling provides the best opportunities for personal growth: a new environment where we no longer feel compelled to focus on ourselves, and we can finally point our attention outwards at the big wide world in front of us.

Southern California is the ideal location for this kind of personal journey, thanks to its thriving cities and majestic landscapes. If there’s anywhere in the world where you could lose yourself, it’s here.

Southern California, running from San Jose all the way down to San Diego, is peppered with incredible attractions and sights. It provides a diverse landscape, running from the temperate forests in the north to the desert in the south. Home to Death Valley, Palm Springs and the Joshua Tree national park, the southern part of the state certainly provides the backdrop for losing oneself in spectacular nature.

An Epic Road Trip Through The Desert

When most people think of a road trip through southern California, they imagine snaking along coastal roads with the sea as a constant backdrop in the distance. But the state is also home to some of the most inhospitable and beautiful deserts in the country according to https://www.dmv.org/. Starting at Twentynine Palms near the border with Nevada, you can drive right across the state, through the infamous Mojave Desert, all the way to the coast. Along the way, you’ll see forests full of Joshua trees, and might even catch a glimpse of active lava flows near the San Andreas fault line.

8752735982_e639dabb4a_o

Image:Flickr with credit to Rennett Stowe

A Trip To A Secret Beach

With Venice and Manhattan beaches full to bursting in the summer, most tourists want to go somewhere a little quieter, away from all the hustle and bustle. The good news is that there are plenty of places to go near Carlsbad, as http://www.sdrvresort.com/ points out. For instance, the Torrey Pine reserve’s beaches snake along the coast between Solana and Carlsbad and remain relatively free from tourists year round.

Further north, between LA and San Francisco, you’ll find a 5.5 mile stretch of beach near the Ocean Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area. Busy throughout the year, the area retains its charm thanks to the vast open spaces and numerous coves to explore.

 

Enjoy Something “Alternative”

California was never mainstream. It’s always played host to alternative cultures, big and small.

Tourists who are into alternative culture love Big Sur’s Esalen Institute. A slightly hippy spiritual venue, it’s a great place to explore the convergence of the “three waters,” bathe naked and go to eco-focused workshops.

Not your thing? Then how about yoga instead? Head north to Malibu beach to find yoga classes enjoyed by the stars, including Demi Moore and practice the art of yogic sleep.