Bicycle Touring As a Cheap Adventure Travel Alternative

Adventure travel has been increasingly sought after over the past few years, but as the economy has declined the generally expensive adventure travel packages have become less and less appealing. Few people would feel good about spending thousands of dollars to put a little adventure in their travel.

And here enters bicycle touring. There are several different types of bike touring around, from those totally organized and supported by a bicycle touring company down to those fully self-contained and supported by you, the tourer. Interestingly, the cheapest option (fully self-contained) also provides the most freedom and adventure.

It sounds too good to be true, right? You get more for less? But that really is the truth if adventure is what you’re looking for. Also, assuming that you go on a bike tour more than once in your life, then the one-time purchase of your bike (if you don’t already own one) and touring gear is a good, relatively cheap investment. The cost of your bike and gear, if you do some bargain hunting, can be less than the cost of a ticket overseas, and you get to use your bike and gear over and over again.

Designing your own adventure travel tour by bicycle can also allow to you stay close to home if you are on a really tight budget or a time constraint. Spending a few days cycling to a nearby landmark, national park, etc., would effectively cut your traditional transportation expenses to zero, or darn near to it.

The biggest expense you’ll have while on your adventure will probably be food; your body’s the engine and it needs gas. But as long as you are smart about what you buy and make sure not to eat a steak dinner with a couple beers every night, you are still going to come out way under the expense total of a normal adventure travel package.

So whether you are looking for some gap year adventure travel, a little taste of the slow travel lifestyle, or some way to throw a bit of cheap adventure travel into your life this year, give bicycle touring at try. And for all you new cycle tourers out there, there are plenty of cycle touring guides and tips on the internet to get you started. Good luck, and happy touring.

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Five of the Best Adventure Travel Destinations For Your Next Vacation

People of all ages are choosing to seek out adventure on their vacations, and there are many destinations around the world offering for an amazing trip. What better way to truly enjoy yourself while also seeing the worlds most amazing natural wonders than on an adventure vacation? From hiking in the wilderness to scuba diving sunken ships in the Caribbean, adventure travel is the perfect way to satisfy your appetite for excitement.

There are many exciting adventure travel destinations and activities to choose from. Today, we are going to explore five of my favorite places to travel.

New Zealand

Located over 1200 miles from the coast of Australia, New Zealand is known the world around for its beauty. Majestic mountains, searing volcanoes, and sparkling blue rivers are what awaits you in this country. The most popular activities for travelers to New Zealand are skiing, rock climbing, trekking, and white water rafting. With so many options to choose from, it’s easy to see why so many people enjoy visiting this country.

South Africa

This amazing country boasts some of the most exhilarating and exciting activities of anywhere on Earth. Its spectacular landscape and varied wildlife are the primary draw for travelers here. Nearly all of the worlds most wild animals call South Africa home, including Elephants, Lions, Rhinos, Cheetahs, and Giraffes. But that’s not all, if you’re an adrenaline enthusiast then take a jump off of Bloukrans bridge, at the highest commercial bungee jump in the world. As you can see, South Africa is the perfect place for an adventure off the beaten path and a vacation here is one you will not forget.

Alaska

The largest of all the United States, Alaska is a land of extremes. Its remote wilderness has long been a favorite destination for active travelers and visiting here can be a life changing experience. From cross country skiing to kayaking through the iceberg filled Glacier Bay, Alaska has plenty of opportunities for the avid adventurer. Alaska is the perfect place for an exciting trip and while you’re visiting here the last thing you’ll be thinking about is how many new friends you’ve got on Facebook.

Costa Rica

The stunning tropical landscape of Costa Rica is a favorite destination for many. Its thick rainforests and varied wildlife make it the perfect place for nature lovers. There are many unique places worth exploring on a trip to Costa Rica, including the beautiful cloud forests and pristine sandy coastline. Travelers from all around the world make the trip here and for good reason. A vacation here is low on cost and high on entertainment making it especially popular for people affected by the ever increasing economic downturn.

Bhutan

Rich in cultural history, Bhutan is one of the most well preserved places on Earth. Home to the eastern portion of the Himalayas, this country is full of amazing natural wonders including some of the worlds tallest mountains. Trekking, climbing, and biking are the most popular tourist activities in Bhutan, however experiencing the unique people who live here is another big draw for travelers. The region is dotted with mystical looking monasteries which will give you a peak into a life so vastly different from our own.

Each of these 5 destinations are unique and exciting adventures and they will all make for a memorable vacation. Whether you’re looking for a family friendly adventure or a single person excursion, each of these places will provide the experience of a lifetime.

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Adventure Travel Agents – The Ones You Can Count on Without Question

Adventure travel agents can bring travelers to the perfect travel locations that most of us can only imagine. When you are planning a trip, you will want to talk with several agents before you make a final decision about who you will work with for your journey.

These travel agents can really take you from the remote islands across the world to the deep jungles that many have never even heard about and they have specialties in designing personalized itineraries to exotic destinations. As fully accredited and registered adventure travel agents, they will work with you to tailor each trip to your specific interests and create an escape perfectly suited just for you. These agents are the ones who will provide you with accommodation, diving, air tickets, land excursions as well as transfers.

So are you ready to pack your bags and start on the journey you have dreamed about, well then call your local adventure travel office and discover some of the many activities that await you…such as…

The South Pacific – have an aquatic adventures from the shark filled with waters of Cocos Island to the tranquility of a coral reef in the South Pacific. You will definitely find that this will be on of your most exciting and memorable adventures. To observe such majestic mammals in its natural habitat during the mating and calving season is without a doubt one of the most overpowering experience that you will ever had.

Australia- this is the land of contrast. From the tropical splendor of the Great Barrier Reef and North Queensland’s lush rain-forests to the otherworldly beauty of the vast outback, there is something for everyone here. The English-speaking rambunctious Aussies are just some of the warmest and funniest people on Earth.

Belize- you can easily get to this place with the help of your adventure travel agents. This place is just in the south of Mexico. English-speaking Belize offers the best of worlds, a soft white sand coastline home to the second largest barrier reef with and also a lush interior jungle with the ruins of Mayan, exotic birds, waterfalls as well as filled adventures.

Having an adventure travel is not just for leisure; it is also for gaining knowledge about different sides of the world. Being in an unfamiliar place is an adventure that you will never forget.

But it indeed not a trip that you will want to tackle along, you will want to work so closely with your adventure travel agent so that you trip is well planned and well thought out so that no ingredient is missing. Working with these professionals will be that missing ingredient that you are looking for…so go ahead, pack up and hit the road! Your adventure awaits!

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Planning An Awesome Adventure Travel Trip On A Budget

Is 2007 the year that you will break out from that tired vacation spot and embrace an adventure? While adventure travel is an extremely fast growth category within the travel industry and bargains might appear to be scarce, there are good and relatively inexpensive ways to take an adventure vacation providing you are prepared to do much of the planning and research yourself. The key to affordable adventure travel is to find providers in the adventure locale and negotiate your package yourself.

Apart from saving a bundle, booking adventure travel directly is a great deal of fun, you will run across some of the most interesting people on the globe and you will get to experience and see a lot of local culture and hidden you probably will not find on the run of the mill travel sites. Much of a good adventure can be planned out by one or two of the party who have the resources and time to spend on investigating the adventure first hand. You may want to think of assembling the adventure in steps or stages and this might be done in a matter of months or spread over two or more visits to the region you are contemplating over a year or two. U.S. currency goes a long way in many of the more undeveloped locations in Africa and Asia and working with local tour guides is a way to stretch your adventure travel dollars.

Looking for reputable tour operators will depend on the type of adventure you are looking for. If you’re planning extreme skiing for instance you need to find the well known skiers in the locale you have picked. If they are ski experts who don’t have tour operator knowledge you may need to get from them the most you can as to type of terrain, accessibility, lodgings, and outfitters who are in the area and then go to those looking for reliable tour guides. In some cases there are individuals who offer both expertise in the adventure mode and also offer tour guiding and tour packages as part of their livelihood.

Don’t neglect doing some on the ground research about the local tour operators. Make sure you’re not asking the best bud or brother-in-law when you ask questions.

Check the guidebooks. When you use one of the better ones, you normally will find some evaluations of the tour operator offerings in the vicinity.

Talk to staff and guests at hotels, hostels and the local B & B’s. They all will have a good deal of data on the tour people and rely on them for their livelihood. Make sure you cross reference such evaluations as the proprietors may be financially linked. There are also Internet message boards that concentrate on travel matters that can be helpful. Don’t be afraid to join in the discussions on forums to find out first hand what to expect. Who knows you may be able to link with other adventure travel aficionados and form a bond for more sharing as your adventure travel experience grows.

When you get the opportunity to talk with potential trip leaders, be sure to get in to all the salient details about the terrain , equipment needed, accommodations and the numbers the tour will be limited to. This stage is crucial to the success of your adventure. Once begun it’s too late to start a negotiation about any aspect of the trip. One last thing, remember to ask in advance the anticipated rewards for the best guides. Follow the suggested guidelines for tipping and maintain a good relationship with the experts to whom you will entrust your safety and enjoyment.

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How To Pack For a New-To-You Summer Vacation Destination

Most families that take vacations are used to knowing what to pack for the various vacation destinations to which they are traveling. In some ways, though the “same old, same old” may seem a bit dull to others, it does make for knowing what you actually need to take on your trip with you & what you are better off leaving at home.

The one rogue variable that can cause issues for families is having to pack for a trip to a destination to which they’ve never traveled. Not only are you not aware of what you may encounter, but you have to keep track of so many other variables. If you travel with kids, though, you may find that the newness of the destination and the preparation for it can be enough to throw them off, and this can be a nightmare for parents. What do you do?

Well, if you’re traveling somewhere this summer that’s new for the whole family, here are a few steps to take prior to leaving home that may make the transition a little easier:

1. Have A Family Meeting – Sure, this idea seems a little “sitcom”, but there is value in setting the whole family down for a meeting to discuss what your vacation will be like this time around. This means that a little research has to be done regarding the destination and what it has to offer, plus it never hurts to have some info on where you’ll be staying.

2. Put Together A Plan – Once you’ve established that everyone is on the same page, it’s time to get a plan together. You could make a general plan for the family, or you could make it specific to each member of the family. Make a packing schedule and, if possible, try to have another family meeting to discuss progress on the trip preparation.

3. Check the Weather – Don’t hesitate in checking the weather ahead of time so that you know what to pack for your trip. You can either check the local town’s chamber of commerce for a weather update (i.e., Red River, NM is a perfect example). If you’re still unclear on weather, plan for light layers so that you can either maintain layers if cold or shed layers if things get warm.

4. Have A Packing Checklist – Nothing will throw your trip into a whirlwind like getting to your destination and seeing that one of your kids packed only toys and candy for the trip. Each person should have a checklist as to what items to pack & should check them off as they go. You could even make it a game for kids if they need some extra motivation.

5. Relax – Travel experts often cite one thing to keep in mind for new vacation destinations – have fun & relax. Even with all the planning you have in place, things will fall through the cracks. Luckily, if you need it, there’s usually a place for you to replace it when you get to your destination.

A vacation should be a relaxing time, and even with a bit of a curve-ball with a new destination, always remember that summer vacations are the trips that are the most memorable. Make this new adventure be the best!

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How to Choose the Best Hotel Suites for Your Family Vacation

Every family plans for a perfect vacation before travelling but sometimes their expectations do not always measure up. Of course, every parent wishes to provide their kids the dream holiday, but things can go awry if you don’t plan well. One of the most important aspects when travelling should be accommodation. Your destination might be scintillating but the quality of your stay will largely be determined by choice of accommodation.

Well, there are so many hotel suites to choose from in every destination. Finding the best can be a challenge especially if you are a first-time vacationer. To avoid ruining your trip due to poor choice of lodgings, below are some ideas to guide you:

Let The Location Guide You

The choice of location makes all the difference. Make sure you book a property near major attractions in the city. However, don’t go for facilities right in the middle of the city because they are noisy and have terrible traffic. Your choice should be guided by convenience, easy access, security and serenity.

Elegant Décor and Ambience

One aspect of travel that spices up the experience is fine dining and trying out exquisite cuisines. The hotel you choose should provide excellent on-site dining opportunities for everyone. The opportunity to order room service will make the whole family feel like royalty and who doesn’t enjoy a little pampering every now and then?

Kid Centred Features

Always choose hotel suites that are family friendly and to determine this, look for kid activities on the site. These facilities are designed with families in mind, which means they are safer for children to play around in. Better still, you can also get facilities that provide childcare options, such as babysitting albeit at an extra cost.

Elegant Décor And Ambience

If you really want to enjoy your trip, make sure you find a warm and welcoming place to stay. Such facilities feature attractive art and other handiwork everywhere you look and the décor is designed with luxury in mind. Such a setting provides the perfect serene setting for your family to relax when you are not out exploring.

Excellent Features

Excellent facilities define a good place to stay. The best properties go to extra lengths to provide excellent amenities on-site including complimentary W-Fi, fitness centre, swimming pool, in-room entertainment among others. The idea is to provide an idyllic setting for you to enjoy your stay.

Other factors to consider include flexibility in the pricing package, availability of breakfast, personalized services, up-to-date services and interiors, and hygiene among others features. Always seek referrals and recommendations from other families, read online reviews and testimonials and take your time to research the hotel you are booking.

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What Things You Should Know About Your Iceland Northern Lights Tour

Most people dream of such a holiday to visit one of the natural yet beautiful phenomenon, which is the Aurora Borealis.

If one is planning go see the Aurora Borealis booking a tour would be best. Booking should be done as early as possible; one can travel by minibus or super jeep. Of course the jeep provides a more personal experience. The tour however is only run when the weather is clear and the aurora forecast shows a higher chance of it showing up that day.

So a tour to Iceland Northern lights has been planned and there are many things that one should keep in mind regarding a tour of such. The tour may last from anywhere between three to four hours. The travel should be comfortable and personal, hence only two people are allowed in the jeep. And as for what one should carry, warm winter clothes are preferable but no jeans. It will be a small group tour where they might drive on the mountain track in Reykjavik or the lava fields depending on the weather of course. Any route they take will depend on the weather itself.

You can enjoy the silence and the beautiful night

There are a few things that one should know about their tour to Iceland Northern lights.

One will be able to enjoy the starry night while searching for the Aurora Borealis. However since there is no guarantee of actually coming across it and there will be 2 extra attempts made by a minibus for free to try and ensure that one gets what they came for. He can also borrow tripods for free. As the journey begins, one will be able to enjoy the night and the stars. If the Aurora Borealis does show up, he can take photographs to make the experience even more memorable.

These beautiful colors are of one natures displays, every single performance is unique and everyone who has seen the lights has claimed that they felt spiritually lifted. Almost everyone has heard of it and to be able to see such beauty makes your breath hitch in your throat and of course it is such an honor.

Although it is a mystery to most people, there are scientific reasons for the Aurora borealis showing up when it does. However, it still cannot be a guarantee as to when it might show up and where precisely.

Many people especially the folks who live in Iceland itself say that it is just a spiritual happening because of all the Nordic folklore and Nordic history. These are a few things one should know about your Iceland Northern lights tour.

Do not become obsessed with just wanting to see the Aurora

There is actually no guarantee that this magnificent show of color will show up on that same day that’s why it is a good idea to just enjoy the winter nights and ones whole holiday in general. Romantic sled rides, the nice people who live there, all of these are good reasons to visit. If one does happen to see the Aurora Borealis as planned then they should surely consider themselves lucky.

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The Best Texas Vacations Include These Five Things

Texas vacations are the stuff of legend, at least if you ask a resident of the great Lone Star State. After all, Texas, though thoroughly metropolitan in many areas & very much an international destination, still has wildly diverse landscapes, climates, elevations, and all of the things that lay claim to the notion of the ‘Wild West’ characteristics that evoke tall tales.

In other words, Texas has a lot to offer, but with so much to offer, there comes a need to really define what a vacation in Texas is all about. What are the absolutely “musts” that are a part of the quintessential Texas getaway?

In the same way that a buffet doesn’t count unless you go through the line three times, here are at least five things that any Texas vacation must have to be legit:

1. Driving – If there’s one thing that Texas is known for it’s that you can drive for hours in just about any direction and still be within its borders. The highways & byways of this great state are, in many respects, the definition of what a road-trip is all about. No matter if it’s I-35, I-10, I-45, I-30, or Hwy 6, if you’re heading out on vacation, you need to drive just to for the experience.

2. Road-side Gourmet Food – As you hit the road & partake of water & sodas, you’re going to need to take a pit-stop. While most people might find this a necessary evil and want to move on ASAP, you might want to take a minute to see what kind of eats are available. Whether it’s tacos or barbecue, you’re sure to find something amazing.

3. Small-Town Good Eats – On the subject of food and small towns, any Texas vacation wouldn’t be complete without discussing the almost “mythically-good” you got out of that one town with the great grub on Main Street, Texas somewhere. A perfect example would be the BBQ in Brenham, TX and throughout Washington County, Texas. It may be small-town ‘cue, but it’s world-class.

4. Fun in the Sun – No Texas vacation would be complete without hanging out by the pool, or even better, by the lake. Though there are some pretty popular places around the state, these can get very crowded. Try the more relaxed avenues of the Blue Bell Aquatic Center & Lake Somerville State Park and Trailway.

5. A Sense of Adventure – OK, this may seem a little hokey, but when it comes right down to it, taking a vacation in Texas is all about getting the most out of what the state has to offer. Sure, there’s a push by many cities to become couture & fashionable, but you can find that anywhere. You need to hit the road and explore what the state has out away from the ‘big city’. Be willing to try new things, and don’t be afraid of tangent trips as they may form some lasting memories for you and your family.

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