Archive | October, 2012

Exploring the Canyon

30 Oct

The Grand Canyon is a great stop off on any roadtrip.  Visit the Grand Canyon Desert View Watchtower  or the infamous skywalk to stretch your legs and get amazing views of this national treasure.

It also offers many activities for those who prefer longer adventures, suvh as overnight trips and guided day hikes.

Exploring the canyon:

Hiking

Every Trail offers some great tips and points of interests for those interested in hiking the canyon and there are pleny of day hikes for those looking for a quick adventure.  Also, Grand Canyon Hikes organizes hiking expeditions and their tours include food, gear, and permits.

Train

Journey back in time by travelling the canyon on a vintage train with the Grand Canyon Railway.

Air Tours

Want to get a bird’s eye view?  You can explore the canyon via helicopter or plane.  Air tours offer a great way to see the canyon on a smaller time frame.

Jeep Tours

Explore the Grand Canyon and learn about the history and geology on a guided Jeep tour.

The National Park Service’s  website has a ton of good information if you’re travelling to the Grand Canyon.  Before you go you’ll want to check out their backcountry updates for any news regarding the trails and restrictions.  Also, if you’re planning an overnight adventure you’ll need a permit.  You do not need a pertmit if you plan on staying at one of their developed campgrounds.  Permits should be obtained as far in advance as possible, only 13,000 issued each year.

Samaritan Travels

25 Oct

Looking for an exciting vacation that is a little out of the ordinary?  Want to give back to communities and experience different countries and cultures?  Make your next trip a volunteer vacation!

Something for Everyone

Activities range from restoration, preservation, and education, working with children to working in and with wildlife locally and abroad.  These are just a few examples of what volunteer activities are offered, however there are many more options suited for a variety of tastes and interests.  Simply Google your interest with the search terms “volunteer vacation”.  There are many vacations here in the United States, as well as abroad, at varying price points.

Enriching Benefits

Volunteer vacations are a great way to give back to a community while experiencing another part of the world. The experience is mutually beneficial, allowing you to become truly immersed in a culture while creating a sense of connectedness.  Knowing that you are connected to others provides immeasurable health benefitsAside from helping others, the sense of unity creates a sense of satisfaction and well being.  Volunteer Vacations: The Health Benefits of Helping Others explores the health benefits associated with volunteering, and also provides some great jumping off points with some popular programs.

Getting Started

USA Today Travel offers information on finding the right opportunity for you

How Stuff Works provides a brief overview of planning your trip as well as opportunities in Africa, U.S, and Latin America

Independent Traveler helps you identify reputable organizations

Volunteer Guide lists different causes and explores ideas relevant to that cause

Global Volunteers organizes volunteer opportunities for 20 countries

American Hiking Society offers volunteer opportunities while preserving the great outdoors

Sierra Club has vacations mainly in the U.S. for working and exploring in the wilderness

REI offers volunteer vacations in Latin and North America

Free Opportunities

Also check out this Storify story for many more links to opportunities, benefits, and tips

Please share your volunteer experiences in the comments!

Pre-Travel Checklist

22 Oct

Karen over at Gadling compiled a list of the top 10 items to pack before travelling abroad and very smartly reminds us to pack universal plug adapters!  She also mentions ensuring you have back up documentation for you passports.  One of her readers commented and recommended scanning and emailing a copy to yourself to ensure you always have access to a copy.  Brilliant!

Also, the U.S Department of State has a great website filled with tons of information for travelling abroad – from country specific information on the laws and conditions, to the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), to applying for a passport, this website is a one stop shop for travel information.

Check out this storify for additional packing tips and what to do if you decide to stay indefinitely!

This cute checklist notepad is available at World Market.

Travel On!

15 Oct

Travelling and exploring new places offers much more than just adventure and fun.  There are also immeasurable benefits that come along with the experience of travel.

Personal growth

If you venture out of your backyard with an open mind you allow yourself to experience different cultures and values.  Through this understanding comes a more developed sense of awareness, inner peace, and happiness.  Immersing yourself in a new culture cultivates compassion and understanding.

Variety is the spice of life

Travelling builds connections with people that can potentially lead to lifelong friendships and broadens your horizons – exposing you to new food, music, and art.  What could be better than that?

Adventures are closer than they appear

You don’t have to go far to experience the benefits of travel and exploration.  There are plenty of places close to home to explore.

These experiences combine to create a more well-rounded, happier you.

No excuses, get up and go!

I would love to hear how travel has enriched your life, feel free to share your stories in the comments section.

Magical, Mystical Peru

14 Oct

Peru’s history creates a multicultural melting pot making it a must see for any traveler.  The vast diversity in culture, art, food, and music make it an ideal spot offering a wide variety in adventures.  Composed of coastal regions, highlands, and jungles, this destination has something for everyone.

Peruvians are described as laid back and friendly.  Learn a little Spanish before you go in order to engage with the locals.  This allows you to truly experience Peru and become submerged in the culture.

Peru is for thrill seekers.  Its extensive trails and canyons offer the perfect adventure for climbers, hikers, and cyclists alike.  Don’t forget about Peru’s many beaches providing sun and surf year round.

Peru is for history and nature lovers.  10,000 years of history and lush landscapes make Peru a must see destination.  Machu Picchu offers a glimpse into the unbelievable engineering feats of the Inca empire dates back to the mid 1400’s.  Perhaps you’d like to explore the Nazca lines and the Pampas de Juma where large figures (best seen from above) were drawn into the desert landscape.  Or you can take a trek through Manu National Park which features a vast array of birds, butterflies, reptiles, insects, amphibians, and plants.

Whatever your fancy you are sure to find it in Peru.

For general trip information and travel guides hop over to Lonely Planet .  This site is a great starting point and offers an overview of Peru.

Ready to plan your adventure?  Check out Wild Junket’s article that maps out several different adventures in Peru.

Machu Picchu

Where to go in May

Nazca Lines

Manu National Park

Fun Festivals

10 Oct

Looking for something out of the ordinary for your next adventure?  Elica Sue over at Wild Junket created a list of seven festivals around the world.  Why not plan your next trip around one of these fun festivals?

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