Expert Advice For An Exceptional International Excursion

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Whether you’re new to exploring or you’re planning yet another crazy trip to foreign shores, there’s always more you could do to ensure that you have a fantastic experience. We’re talking about both the boring side of planning ahead and the exciting things you can do on your actual travels. Maybe you and your friends are eager to take another wild trip to a new place or a familiar destination that you need to revisit. However, before you book a spontaneous flight, here’s some expert advice for an exceptional international excursion. Try saying that after a few drinks.

Research the destination (or destinations) in question.

Boring, right? Well, as mentioned in the introduction, planning ahead is still a crucial part of ensuring you have a fantastic trip. Being spontaneous is fun, but it can also lead to disappointment. After all, you can most likely only afford to travel for a certain amount of time (unless you’re rich or you don’t have to go back to your job). So, you want to make sure you see everything that a certain place has to offer. If you do the boring planning before you travel then you’ll be able to relax and have fun on your trip. And you won’t be worrying about whether you can actually see everything in time.

You should do some online research to find any places that you might not have thought to visit in a particular location. You might even find some hidden gems if you look in the right places. You should check out expertvagabond.com for an expert’s opinion on the best things to do in destinations all over the world. You can avoid wasting time traipsing around a new place by simply finding out what you need to see in the cities or towns you’re planning on exploring. Researching the destination or destinations you plan on visiting could really help you to make the most of your time there.

Travel in exciting ways.

Why travel in an ordinary way? If you want an exceptional international excursion then think outside the box. Maybe you’re going on a trip for a friend’s bachelor party, so you could arrange for a limo to pick you up from the airport. If it’s a romantic trip then you could arrange for a hot air balloon ride to really impress your significant other. As suggested on our website, you could even take a helicopter to reach your intended destination. It doesn’t even need to be a trip you take for a practical purpose. You can take helicopter rides through the Grand Canyon and around the city of London. Transport can do more than simply getting you from point A to point B; it can be a fun way to explore an area from a different perspective. Think outside the box if you want to travel in exciting ways. See? Planning ahead doesn’t always have to be boring.

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Plan out a travel playlist.

Whether it’s music for the car during a road trip or music to keep you occupied during a long flight, don’t underestimate the power of a great playlist. As mentioned at wikihow.com, it can make the trip particularly special for you and a partner if you compile a playlist of songs that are meaningful to you and your SO. But it can also be particularly fun for you and a group of friends if you create a hype playlist. A road trip down Route 66 sounds fun, but imagine that same road trip with your favorite tunes blasting out of the speakers.

Here’s How You Explore A New City Like A Local

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When you get to a new travel destination, you might be tempted to hit the big tourist hotspots straight away. And that’s perfectly fine of course – after all, that’s what being a tourist is all about, getting out there and taking in all the cool attractions and sights! However, to truly experience the city, you want to explore it like a local. That way, you will see all the hidden gems that most tourists don’t see or experience, and this will make your whole stay a lot more authentic.

So, are you ready to dive into a new city and explore like a local? Here’s how it can be done!

Go For A Wander

One of the best ways to discover what a city has to offer has to be by using your legs and walking around. One reason why walking is so great is that it gives you the chance to get lost. Don’t worry, that isn’t actually as bad as it may sound – getting lost will help you get away from the beaten track, and you might stumble across some truly amazing local secrets. Not only that, though, but it will help you get your exercise in for the day!

Use A Rideshare App

These days, staying in an Airbnb room is popular with travelers as it gives them the chance to stay with locals and ask them for their tips and insider information. Well, for a different spin on this concept, why not use rideshare apps? Don’t worry; this isn’t as dangerous as you might think and, as you can see on the Dolman Law Group, as you are well protected in the event of an accident. But this gives you the chance to have a lift with a local who can give you some great recommendations of what to see and do.

Download A Travel App

There are also a lot of new travel apps that are designed to give users a local experience. It’s worth downloading a couple of these before you head off on your travels so that you have a couple to use to help your explorations. The Lonely Planet Guides app is a great resource and is like having a whole guidebook on your phone. Others you might want to try include Spotted by Locals and Localeur.

Don’t Plan Too Much

It’s a good idea not to plan too much for your trip or else you might end up with little time to explore. So, try to leave your schedule as open as possible with at least one hour for wandering each day. You will be amazed at what kind of exciting stuff you can fit into an hour!

Be Open To New Experiences

Whenever possible, say yes to all the new experiences you are offered while traveling. That’s a great way to experience the new culture that is all around you in this new and exciting place!

Hopefully, all of these tips help you explore any new city that you travel to like a local!

 

 

Acadia National Park

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Maine

The breathtaking treasure of the north Atlantic coast, Acadia National Park is located in the state of Maine. Maine is the northeastern most U.S state, and is a part of the “New England” region. The state of Maine, is boarded by the state of New Hampshire to the west, the dramatic Atlantic ocean to the southeast and the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Quebec to the northeast and northwest. From its natural beauty, stunning views and friendly and welcoming locals, a trip to Maine is well worth it. And the magical Acadia National Park is the true gem of this charming state.

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Acadia National Park

Acadia National park is one of the oldest U.S National Parks, east of the Mississippi river! It was first established as a National Monument in July 1916, and was then changed to a National Park in 1919. The majority of the 49,052 acres of the park is located on Mount Desert Island, which is the largest Island of the coast of Maine, and is also the 6th largest island in contiguous U.S.

Acadia is the highest rocky headlands along of the Atlantic coastline of the U.S, and has a large abundance of biodiversity. Here you can explore a range of landscapes, from the rocky coastlines, to forests, ponds, marshlands, fields and mountains! A true nature lovers playground.

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Highlights and must sees

Bass Harbor head lighthouse

Visit the charming lighthouse, with views of the rocky coastline, and stay to watch a breathtaking sunset. There are also hiking options from here.

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Sand beach

A gorgeous beach that is nestled between granite mountains and rocky shores.

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Ocean trail

Walk from sand beach to otter cliff. An easy walk, with the most breathing views of the Atlantic ocean.

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Thunder hole

A natural rock inlet where you can see and hear the waves crash with a thunderous boom and high flying foam.

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Park loop road

27 miles long, this route connects the parks lakes, mountains, forests and rocky shores with many observation points along the way. A great introduction to seeing the beauty of Acadia.

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Cadillac mountain

Drive or hike the impressive Cadillac mountain. This gorgeous mountain sits at 1,5350 ft above sea level and provides stunning views of Acadia. The perfect place to watch the sunrise.

Bar harbor

A charming sea side town on Mount desert island, and is known as the gateway to Acadia. With charming boutiques and restaurants this is a popular town to visit when exploring Acadia.

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Acadia National park is a truly magnificent place. There is so much natural beauty and diversity to explore.  It is one of my favorite U.S national parks and a highlight from our travels in the United States. A true gem of the east coast.

 

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

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One of my major loves of the USA is the National Parks system. As a nature lover, and with a background in Wildlife Biology and Conservation, I am in awe of all of the National Parks that I have had the chance to visit, and the system that protects them. On our drive to the south, I had to make sure that we did not miss the Great Smoky Mountains, the most visited US National Park. I do hold the National Parks pass, however the Smoky Mountains don’t require an entrance fee, one of the few parks that don’t! The Smoky Mountains is part of the Blue Ridge Mountains, a division of the larger Appalachian chain. These Mountains border between North Carolina and Tennessee and is one of the largest protected areas in eastern US. They are also acknowledged as an UNESCO world heritage site, very impressive. With its beauty and diverse range of plant and animal life, it is no wonder that the Great Smoky Mountains is a popular place to visit and explore.

As we visited during winter, parts of the park was closed, I would love to go back during the spring and/or summer to explore more of this gorgeous place.

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Rocky Mountain National Park

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Kota Kinabalu

Gateway to Borneo

Kota Kinabalu also referred to as KK is located on the northwest coast of Borneo, in the Malaysian state of Sabah. Kota Kinabalu, which was once formally known as Jesselton is the state capital of Sabah. The location is an ideal base to explore the northern region of Borneo.

Borneo

Borneo is the third largest (non continental) island in the world. Located in South East Asia, and surrounded by the south China sea to the north and northwest. The Island is divided by three separate countries. Indonesia, Brunei and Malaysia. Brunei has the smallest portion of the Island. The Malaysian part of the Borneo is split between two different states, Sabah and Sarawak. The Indonesian state of Kalimantan controls the largest portion of Borneo.

Borneo is a nature lovers playground. The majority of the island is covered by dense rainforest, with a great richness of species diversity. This rainforest is one of the oldest rainforests in the world! Estimated to be 140 million years old. Home to a range of unique fauna and flora, and the center of evolution and distribution of many species. It is understandable that a lot of ecological research is conducted here. With this, Borneo is also home to a number of sustainable, conservation and responsible travel projects. The Island of Borneo is a really unique and magical place.

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Four days in Kota Kinabalu

Kota Kinabalu was our first introduction to this amazingly unique island. Spending four days in this city was truly wonderful, the only negative was that it was not enough time! We stayed at a backpackers hostel, close to the center of the city. As we arrived in the afternoon, our first day was spent walking around and taking in the atmosphere of the city. Our first evening was spent at the night market, then on to an all you can eat buffet – and buckets of beers, the price was ridiculously cheap. The next morning, we woke up and started to explore more of the city. In addition to visiting the  sights and attractions of KK, the majority of our stay was spent island hopping, which included snorkeling and hiking adventures.

City highlights and attractions

KK water font and times square

With crystal clear waters and sunny skies the waterfront is gorgeous to walk along. Times square represents the commercial downtown area of Kota Kinabalu.

Sabah state mosque

Located close to the city center, the mosque is worth a viewing. The architectural design is very impressive.

Signal hill observatory tower

Provides gorgeous views of the city at the highest point.

Atkinson clock tower

This is the oldest standing structure in Kota Kinabalu. The towers sits on a hill overlooking the city.

Central market

A vibrant and busy market located on the waterfront. A great place to explore and take in the atmosphere of the city.

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Tunku Abdul Rahman Park

The Tunku Abdul Rahman park is a marine park with a cluster of five islands (Gaya, Manukan, Sapi, Sulug and Mamutik) located off the coast of Kota Kinabalu. These islands are easily accessible. The distance ranges from three to eight kilometers off the coast, and you can take a 15-20 minute speedboat ride from the Jesselton point ferry terminal.  Plus, all of the islands are a short boat ride from each other. Island hopping was the highlight of our time in Kota Kinabalu.  We were able to visit many stunning beaches, go snorkeling, hike through jungle trails and see some pretty impressive animal and plant species.

Kota Kinabalu, with its tropical islands and stunning landscape is a nature lovers playground, and is rapidly becoming a more popular tourist destination, due to the city being a cultural hub with natural beauty. Kota Kinabalu was the perfect introduction to the island of Borneo. I am so eager to return and explore even more of the Island. I would love to experience a wilderness trip, absorbing the true remoteness and adventure that Borneo can offer.

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