The outdoors is undeniably awesome — but sometimes, you need to put your backpack down and rest. When you are trekking through Canada, one of the best break spots is Niagara Falls: the weather is temperate, the attractions and food are plentiful, and there are millions of fascinating fellow travelers to get to know. However, as a popular tourist destination, Niagara Falls might be an intimidating place for backpackers to venture. If you want to spend time in Niagara but don’t want to blow your backpacking budget, read on.
Undoubtedly, the best time of year to walk the Bruce Trail and other trekking trails around Niagara Falls is summer, when the temperatures are comfortably warm and there is freshwater aplenty. However, this is definitely not the best time to visit Niagara Falls — during the summer, Niagara Falls’ population swells incredibly as the city sees the bulk of its 30 million annual visitors. Because of this, hotels near Niagara Falls fill up fast during the summer, and activities and attractions can be booked solid for months in advance.
Thus, instead, you should plan your backpacking break for the shoulder seasons, spring or fall. The scenery in Niagara Falls is as beautiful during these times of year — and the waterfalls are certainly still flowing. However, you might get discounts on things like travel and accommodation as well as tours and attractions, and you are more likely to have time and space to walk around and enjoy the city without competing with other travelers.
Invest in a Trip Package
As with other popular vacation destinations, you can save money on your trip to Niagara Falls by investing in a package, as opposed to paying for each part of your trip individually. Often, you can get these packages through a hotel; the hotel will group together accommodations, meals and a few activities into one package, so you don’t have to do much heavy lifting on building your trip itinerary and you can save some cash, too.
This is a good reason why you shouldn’t try to stay in a hostel or a bed and breakfast during your Niagara Falls trip — hostels and B&Bs lack the amenities of a larger hotel, which can impact the quality of your trip. Plus, since this serves as your break from backpacking, you should feel free to indulge in a more luxury accommodation than you might normally seek when you are on the road.
Choose Your Eating Excursions Carefully
As you already know, food can get expensive fast. When you are eating out for breakfast, lunch and dinner, you can blow half or more of your vacation budget on meals alone. Niagara Falls is no exception; meals here can get up there in price, so you have to be careful with where and when you choose to eat.
However, it’s also important to note that Niagara Falls offers some outstanding culinary opportunities. The entire Niagara region is exceedingly fertile, and there are many vineyards, orchards and farms just outside the city. Thus, you should try to devote at least one meal to a high-quality establishment, like AG Inspired Cuisine or Canyon Creek as well as a tour of at least one winery in the region.
Enjoy the Falls for Free
While there are a number of activities and attractions that allow you to see Niagara Falls from all angles, the truth is you can enjoy exquisite views without spending a dime. If you plan your accommodations carefully, you can secure a hotel room with falls views. However, you can also see the falls for free from Queen Victoria Park, Goat Island, Luna Island, Terrapin Point and more. If you spend some time talking to locals, you should be able to find even more excellent vantage points that other travelers often miss.
In fact, it is generally a good idea to befriend a few Niagara natives, just as you likely get along with locals and fellow travelers on your backpacking adventures. Establishing these relationships gives you connections to certain information and activities that other travelers lack. This means you can pack more into your Niagara Falls trip, giving you greater excitement and adventure, even when you are taking a break from backpacking.
Okay, we get it – for many people travelling on a backpacker’s budget, New York’s simply not an option.
It’s no secret NYC is a pretty darn expensive destination, and sadly the high living costs are usually enough to put many people on a tighter budget off. But for those with a bit more to spend or anyone who simply can’t bear to leave New York City off their itinerary, you’re in for a pretty awesome time in Gotham.
The city’s endless attractions, bustling nightlife and world-class eateries make the Big Apple the ideal travel destination, and while they might not be cheap there also are some excellent hostels for backpackers looking to get more from their stay in New York.
Taking budget, location and the atmosphere at the hostels into consideration, here’s our pick of the very best in the Empire State.
Image via Unsplash by @mikechv
HI New York City Hostel
It might be called the City that Never Sleeps, but unfortunately for you hedonists out there that doesn’t mean there’s an abundance of party hostels – in fact there aren’t really any in NYC.
But while you’ll struggle to find places with all-night drinking games and music blurring into the small hours, if you’re looking for somewhere to meet other travellers and socialise then this is probably it.
The property usually houses a mix of people from a range of different cultures, and with the hostel’s staff regularly organising free tours and events for the guests, this is certainly a great place to stay for solo travellers or even groups looking to meet other like-minded souls.
In addition to being close to public transport links and some of the city’s major attractions, the hostel also has some attractive features including a pool table, TV/theater room and a patio and lawn.
Oh and there’s also good-quality, high-speed WiFi, which might seem basic to some, but to a seasoned back-packer accustomed to infuriatingly spotty signals this can be a bit of a luxury!
The West Side YMCA
Admit it, when you hear the word “hostel” you often think of basic amenities, cramped dormitory rooms and less-than-spotless shared toilet facilities. But the West Side YMCA in Manhattan completely shatters those illusions… and then some.
Not only does this hostel have a choice of individually decorated private rooms, but there’s also a sauna, steam room and full-size swimming pool – perfect for unwinding after a long day of sightseeing, or a few too many Martini’s the night before!
As well as the outstanding facilities, the hostel is also ideally situated as it’s just a few blocks from Central Park and many of the city’s major attractions, making this the perfect choice for those looking for a little luxury and great location.
Chelsea International Hostel
With a variety of amenities, as well as numerous perks and freebies available to guests, it’s no surprise Chelsea International is regarded as one of the best hostels in the whole of New York.
In addition to free lockers for keeping those valuables safe, each morning guests are treated to breakfast at no extra cost, and there’s even complimentary pizza for those staying on a Wednesday, which is great for saving some of those precious dollars on dinner! Besides, who goes to New York without trying the pizza, right!?
With a large computer room and excellent WiFi signal throughout, for those who like to get things done while they’re on the move, the Local may be the ideal choice.
Situated in Long Island just across the East River from Manhattan, this trendy hostel is just enough out of range from the hustle and bustle to guarantee some head-space, while at the same time being only a short subway ride away from the action.
There are also multiple bars where you can meet other guests, as well as a roof terrace that offers magnificent views of the Manhattan skyline. What more could you ask for!?
What list of hostels designed to offer guidance to backpackers would be complete without the inclusion of a budget-friendly place!? Well, ladies and gentleman, this is it…
The Q4 Hotel is undoubtedly the best value we could find, but don’t be fooled into thinking the lighter price tag means the property is short on facilities. The recently renovated place has a kitchen and dining area, a games room with pool/ping pong tables, and a movie area with a large screen.
Situated in Queens, the only thing this hostel compromises on is location, although with public transport links nearby you can get to practically anywhere in the city within an hour.
Backpacking is an amazing adventure which I personally think everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime. While amazing as it is it can also be very stressful and scary.
If you are anything like me, you probably have no idea what to expect for your first backpacking experience. From wondering packing your backpack to deciding where to go, a lot goes into preparing yourself for your first backpacking trip.
Traveling in itself can be challenging however, doing it with a backpack on your back is even more difficult. Whether you are walking uphill or downhill, carrying extra weight makes a massive difference.
I suggest have a practice run or two. Obviously, you are not going to go on the actual route you will explore. Perhaps go on various hiking trails.
Traveling with a heavier backpack on your back will help you train for your real first backpacking trip. You will be able to practice your balancing skills while carrying extra weight. Trust me it is different balancing with a 30 kg backpack than without one.
Strategy Is Key
After practicing on some trails with a backpack, you will be able to give yourself a self-evaluation. This should include your skill levels as well as abilities.
Knowing what you can handle will help a lot, trust me! On that point, make sure you’re honest with yourself while self-evaluating. The last thing you want is to take on a challenging backpacking trip you are unprepared for.
It is important to keep in mind that some backpacking trips are significantly more challenging than others. Do not set unrealistic expectations for yourself, you’ll regret it if you do.
Once you have done a self-evaluation, you can then decide on a where you want to go for your first backpacking trip. The best thing to do is to choose a trip you know you can handle.
I suggest you choose one of the easier backpacking trips for your first. This way you can still have the amazing experience but won’t battle as much to complete it.
You will also be able to enjoy the trip more when you are able to backpack with ease. Choosing where you want to go will also allow you to do further research about what to expect regarding the trip.
What Permits Do You Need?
Once you have decided where you want to go, a good idea is to find out what permits you will need. This is important because some permits will allow you to get on the trailhead whereas others require an application.
You can check online for what is required for your planned backpack trip. Keep in mind that some permits need to be applied for months ahead of time. I suggest you decide on a backup location if your first choice ends up as a fail.
Make sure to research the rules and regulations regarding your trail. Nobody likes these types of surprises.
Double Check All The Necessary Supplies
Backpacking requires a large number of supplies. You will most likely need a sleeper bag, tent, headlamp, maps, a portable stove, and pots.
It is important to double check you have all the supplies needed before you leave. If you forget any necessary supplies it may cause your trip to be unpleasant. The supplies needed will differ with each backpacking.have a look at this backpacking checklist for a better idea of what supplies you will need.
Of course, once you reach your destination you could always give yourself a break and book into an all-inclusive resort. It is a great way to reward yourself for the great progress you have made backpacking for your first time.
Pack In Plenty Of Food And Water
This is obvious but it is of utmost that you carry enough water and food for the duration of the entire trip. The amount you’ll depends on how long your trip will be.
The other factor to keep in mind is if there will be any water sources available on your planned route. If there are, you should bring some kind of filter as well as enough water to get you going until you reach the first water source. Be sure to carry extra just in case, too much is better in this situation.
Planning the amount of food to pack can be a little tricker. Of course, you don’t want to run out of food but also don’t want to overpack so that you’re not weighed down. For your first backpacking trip, I suggest to rather pack in too much than too little as you won’t know how hungry you’ll be while exploring.
Whether it is your first time backpacking or not, this is something you should do every time. Be sure to inform someone of exactly where you’ll be!
The last thing you want is for something to happen and nobody knows where to find you. If possible, bring along a personal locator beacon which can be activated in an emergency situation. This provides the assurance that help will reach you ASAP.
While backpacking is an amazing experience, it definitely has some risks. It can be extremely dangerous to go into a trip unprepared. With that said, this shouldn’t discourage you from going, just be sure to be prepared before heading off on the adventure!
Split is a Croatian city that lies on the Dalmatian Coast, right by the Adriatic Sea. With its beautiful beaches and historical buildings, it has become a popular tourist destination in this region. If you’re planning a trip to Croatia, Split is a must-see city. There are endless things that you can see and do when you visit. In this guide, you’ll learn all about the history of the city and the best tours in Split, Croatia that you can join to experience the most during your trip.
History of Split, Croatia
Because of its location, Split has a long history of kingdoms and empires trying to win it over. But it started out as a Greek colony in the 2nd or 3rd century BC. In AD 305, the Roman emperor Diocletian built a palace in the city, and it later on became a prominent settlement around 650 when it captured Salona, the ancient capital city of the Roman province of Dalmatia. After Salona’s conquer, Diocletian’s Palace became a refuge for Romans, which led Split to become a Byzantine city during Constantine I’s rule.
Years later, the Republic of Venice and the Kingdom of Croatia fought over the land, although Byzantines maintained their nominal suzerainty over Split. During the middle ages, Split shortly became an autonomous city, but it eventually ended up under Venetian rule. When Napoleon I won over Venice in 1797, the city was handed over to the Monarchy of Habsburg.
But the Peace of Pressburg that was signed eight years later between Napoleon I and the Roman emperor Francis II transferred it to the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy, which was a kingdom in the northern part of Italy that was in union with France under Napoleon I. Just a year after the Peace of Pressburg was signed, Split officially became a part of the French Empire.
However, the Austrian Empire conquered it in 1813. It was a part of the Austrian Kingdom of Dalmatia until Yugoslavia was formed in 1918. During World War II, Split became an annex city of Italy, but then the National Liberation Army and Partisan Detachments of Yugoslavia liberated it in 1943. Germany would occupy Split shortly after, until Partisans conquered Croatia and freed it again in 1944.
In post-war socialist Yugoslavia, Split fell under its republic of Croatia. Finally, in 1991, Croatia won its independence from Yugoslavia, and Split remained one of its cities since.
You can learn more about Croatia and Split’s history during your vacation. While in Split, make sure to visit some of its old Roman buildings and museums to see mementos and relics from centuries past.
Best Tours in Split, Croatia
Split is an interesting city to visit because of its rich culture and history. But it’s also such a beautiful city with a picturesque natural scenery that will surely take your breath away. In this part of the guide, you’ll learn three of the best tours in Split, Croatia that will take you to its most beautiful natural spots.
1. Blue Cave Tour
Blue Cave is on the Bisevo Island, a small island beside Vis, another popular island in this region. It’s about 40 miles from the main island of Split, and you’ll have to ride a boat for about an hour and a half to get here. However, this enchanting cave is worth the trip. It was built after thousands of years of waves crashing against its limestone walls.
Blue Cave got its name from the mesmerizing blue light that emanates when sunrays hit the white limestone cave floor through the Adriatic Sea’s blue water. In the morning, the cave glows with this blue light.
When you join the Blue Cave Tour, you’ll start with a speedboat ride from Split to the Balun Bay in Bisevo Island where the entrance to the cave is. After visiting the cave, you’ll then head to the Monk Seal Cave where the secluded award-winning Stiniva Beach is located. Then, you’ll head to Palmizana in the Pakleni Islands where you can swim and eat lunch. There’s also a beachside bar here where you can drink cocktails.
Lastly, the boat brings you to another historical Croatian city, Hvar. You’ll have plenty of time to explore the city before you head back to Split.
2. Plitvice Lakes Tour
Plitvice National Park is a forest reserve that was listed as one of UNESCO World Heritage sites in 1949. When you join the Plitvice Lakes Tour, you’ll be able to see its sixteen interconnected lakes and numerous waterfalls.
The tour starts in Split, which is about 160 miles from the Plitvice National Park. It sounds far from the city, but the destination makes the journey so worth it. Upon arrival, you will enjoy a panoramic train ride. And then, you can follow the park’s wooden walkways that will guide you around the edges of the lakes and take you to the waterfalls. You can also choose to hike the park’s trails and take a boat ride across Kozjak Lake. You will also see the tallest waterfall in the park, the Veliki Slap, that is 266 feet tall!
Without a doubt, Plitvice National Park is one of the most beautiful places you can visit when in Croatia.
3. Krka Waterfalls Tour
The last tour on this list is the Krka Waterfalls tour. Like Plitvice, Krka is a national park. This beautiful natural scenery looks like it came straight out of a painting. The tour starts in Split, and then you’ll have to travel 55 miles to get to Sibenik, Croatia. Upon arriving at the Krka National Park, you’ll immediately see the stunning beauty of the Skradinski Buk waterfall. The tour guide will then take you around to show you the nearby ethno village and its several water mills.
At Krka, you can swim under the waterfalls and explore the smaller pools around it. The water is so clear that you can see the floor underneath your feet. The tour will also take you to a boat ride to Skradin, a small town that captures Dalmatia’s essence, where you will participate in wine tasting at a traditional Croatian winery.
If you are staying for a couple of days in Split, you must join at least one of these tours so you can experience Croatia’s finest stops. These tours will show you the wonders of Croatia and will give you memories that you’ll cherish for a lifetime.
Going on a gap year isn’t just great for broadening your horizons, learning new languages and becoming more independent, it’s also good for your project management skills. The learning offered by a gap year starts before you even set off, because you’ll probably have to fund it yourself, at least in part. Saving up for your travels teaches you determination, scrimping smarts and deferred gratification.
What’s stopping you? Dive in here and start your savings journey now!
Book your flights and trains now
That’s right! The sooner you book, the cheaper it’ll be, so you’ll already be a few hundred pounds ahead. You’ll also feel more motivated to save up for your accommodation and expenses because if you fail to meet your target, you’ll have wasted all that money!
Work as much as possible
Working a lot has two advantages; you earn more and you’ll have less time to spend your wages! Grab all the overtime you can at your current job, offer your services as a dog-walker at weekends, do a bit of baby-sitting and leafleting or see if your local pub needs extra help. You could even do some online surveys if you’re stuck for other opportunities – every little helps…
Cut out your bad habits
You should start with the obvious ones, like smoking and drinking too much. These are expensive pastimes and they’re also not great for your health. You don’t have to live like a hermit; just commit to saying no at least once or twice a month when people invite you out.
Stop buying bottles of water on your way into work. Invest in a reusable bottle, especially if it’s a fancy fruit-infusing one. It’ll cost a tenner or so, but it’ll soon pay for itself (unless you’re filling it with Densuke watermelon, in which case, shtahp!). If you’re a coffee drinker, then brewing up in the morning and carrying your precious brown cargo to work in a flask or insulated mug will save you valuable coins every day.
Aim to have two or three meat-free days each week or start to bulk out stews, soups and curries with lentils instead of mince or chicken. Meat is very expensive and so you can reduce your weekly and monthly grocery bills by hunting vegetables and pulses instead.
Ditch the gym and exercise alone
This doesn’t have to be as miserable as it sounds. You don’t even have to do it alone if you can enlist a few chums into a running group. There are also lots of smartphone apps that guide you through exercise routines and even yoga classes. At the very least, drop a few of your extra classes at the gym if they’re expensive and replace them with AI!
Move back home
This is one of the more drastic, but probably one of the most effective, ways to save up for your gap year. Rents can be eye-wateringly high, even if you’re sharing a place, so it might be an idea, in the final few months before you leave, to live with your parents. You’ll have to pay some keep, obviously, as well as do your fair share of housework, but you could be squirrelling away several hundred pounds a month!
Vienna is a city steeped in history. From musical experiences to cultural adventures and natural beauty, there is something for everyone — even kids! When planning your itinerary, don’t forget these three kid-friendly Vienna attractions that even adults will love.
Vienna is known for its rich musical history, and Haus der Musik is the perfect way to introduce classical music to children of all ages. The interactive museum covers all areas of music, ranging from sounds and instruments to the history of Vienna’s famous composers. Exhibits are spread across five floors and use technology for a unique experience. Kids can play games, compose music, and even virtually conduct the renowned Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.
To make the most of your visit, introduce your children to some classic composers before your trip so they will recognize Mozart, Beethoven, and others when they enter the museum. Haus der Musik regularly hosts musical events and children’s concerts as well as music education programs. Family ticket packages are available if you’re traveling with more than one child.
Prater Amusement Park
The oldest amusement park in the world, Wiener Prater was first built in 1162 and was donated to Vienna in 1766. It is free to enter and makes for a kid-friendly activity no matter if you are riding the rides or simply walking through the park.
Prater holds more than 250 attractions that are tailored to audiences ranging from young children to thrill-seeking adults. One of the park’s most popular attractions is the giant Ferris wheel “Wiener Riesenrad” that offers stunning views of Vienna. There are also bike paths, pony rides, and a train that drives through the park in the summer.
Although entry is free, rides range in price from €1,50 to €5. If you plan on riding several rides, buy the Pratercard, which offers a 10% discount on select rides. The park is open 24 hours a day, but rides, restaurants, and other attractions may have different hours.
One of the most important buildings in Austrian history, Schönbrunn Palace is gorgeous inside and out and offers a variety of cultural experiences. Start with a tour of the 1,441-room palace and then explore the expansive gardens, complete with a maze and labyrinth to get the wiggles out. Even young children who don’t fully understand the historical significance will enjoy the outdoor spaces and neighboring children’s museum and zoo.
The children’s museum allows kids the chance to dress up in period clothing and play with imperial toys, and the zoo is the oldest in the world. To maximize your time at the palace, buy timed tickets online beforehand to avoid standing in line and download the free audio tour to your mobile device. Ticket prices start at around €15. Family packages are available and include entrance to the kid-friendly areas.
Vienna isn’t just for adults. Kids of all ages can enjoy the history and culture of the city while still having time to act their age. A trip to Vienna is a family experience that is sure to create memories that will last a lifetime.
You’ve logged your training miles. You’ve tested your pack. And you even made one of those freeze-dried meals for dinner just to make sure they were edible. Of course, there’s a bit more to do to prepare for your outdoor adventure.
But, after you’ve accounted for all your belongings and have planned out your excursion, the actual backpacking adventure can take you places many people never get to experience. Indeed, deciding to pack up and head out to the backcountry is a big undertaking that requires ample preparation.
Still, no matter how many training miles you log or freeze-dried meals you eat, there’s still more you can do to be prepared for the unexpected. Here are a few other things to consider before heading out the door.
When nature calls, where do you go? Chances are your backpacking excursion is taking you miles and miles from the nearest facilities. When it comes to “going” in the wild, there are some important rules you should always follow. First, find out if there are any type of regulations on human waste where you plan on backpacking.
Heavily-trafficked trails and certain areas at high elevations may require hikers to pack their own waste. In addition to your sanitary basics (toilet paper and hand sanitizer), be sure to pack a camp trowel for digging a cat hole, sealable plastic bags to store used toilet paper and solid waste bags for those areas that require hikers to pack out waste.
2. Getting There
Any outdoor adventure will take you off the beaten path. But even before you set foot on the trail, you’ll likely have to navigate back roads. Depending on the season, location and local conditions, the roadways to your desired destination may be filled with roadblocks. While some impending hazards are just too risky to take on, obstacles like mud or bumpy backroads shouldn’t prove difficult if your vehicle is equipped with the right tires.
Then there are specialty tires, like those mud-terrain types designed for extreme road conditions. Mud tires feature tread blocks that can grip roadways in even the toughest off-road terrain and conditions. The treads are also designed to eject debris like stone and mud that can hamper your tires’ overall effectiveness.
Additionally, mud tire sidewalls are constructed with a three-ply layer that can help to prevent punctures. Getting there is the first part of the adventure. In other words, you’ll have a good experience and arrive at your destination without frustration by outfitting your rig with the right set of tires.
3. In Case of Emergency
It takes a lot of planning and training to get your mind, body and gear ready for a backpacking trip. But don’t let the trip of a lifetime be ruined by an emergency when you’re deep in the backcountry. Instead, plan for the inevitable. Emergencies and inconveniences such as tears in your tent, holes in your inflatable sleeping pad and a dead car battery can derail any trip.
Backpacking is a great way to connect with nature. But mistakes can turn a positive experience into a negative one in an instant. Be prepared for it all by packing for emergencies, preparing for inclement weather and considering proper sanitation methods when in the backcountry.
Southeast Asia is loaded with fantastic destinations to enjoy a superb holiday. Made of Mainland Southeast Asia and Maritime Southeast Asia, it comprises of Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Brunei, Singapore and Taiwan. There is ample to see and lots to explore in each of these fascinating countries. Browse Butterworth hotels for an affordable and comfortable stay, and get the best value out of your money.
Here are some of the top-notch attractions in Southeast Asia.
Beautiful Buddhist temples in Chiang Mai in Thailand
Chiang Mai, located in the northern mountains of Thailand and is noted for its rich past and diverse landscape. Do not miss out on the hundreds of beautiful Buddhist temples that are the surviving structures from ancient times. Explore Talat Warorot, the modern city market where you can shop for everything from pickled tea leaves to fishing nets and other souvenirs.
The coastal town of Hoi An in Vietnam
Hoi An, a Unesco World Heritage Site is a coastal town today. The 15th-century fishing port is situated on the Eastern Vietnam Sea and is well famous for pristine white-sand beaches as well as historical sites. Visit the Japanese Covered built in the 16th century and take a tour in a traditional wooden long-tail boat if looking for adventure. Visit Cam Thanh Village to meet the bamboo craftsmen and enjoy a home-cooked meal.
The contemporary Taipei skyline in Taiwan
Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, is dominated by its skyscrapers. Explore its contemporary buildings and lively markets plus the hidden historical gems. Start your trip by soaring the Taipei 101 tower and enjoy the panoramic views of the city. Visit the National Palace Museum to look at the most extensive collections of Chinese art in the world. Go the Tonghua Night Market to enjoy the local cuisine and especially the rice-wine sweet dumplings.
Visit the industrial town of Butterworth in Penang
Butterworth is the largest town in Seberang Perai in the Malaysian state of Penang. The industrial port is interesting to explore because of its intricate concrete mesh of flyovers, rail lines, and highways. Book yourself a room at Aroma Hotel Butterworth and enjoyed exploring the town. The hotel is well placed and located near the major attractions. Go for island hopping on any of those ferries that leave the island few minutes.
Spectacular sights at Siem Reap in Cambodia
The cultural capital offers plenty of spectacular sights. Once you arrive, start your trip with the temple of Angkor Thom Complex and the Angkor National Museum spread across 250 square miles. Temple of Angkor Wat is indeed one of the most spectacular of the temples here. Enjoy the lively street food scene especially at night.
The stunning beaches and lush rice paddies of Bali in Indonesia
Bali indeed feels like a paradise with the lush greenery of its rice paddies and the whiteness of its pristine beaches. Well famous as Island of the Gods, Bali is much more than its glorious beaches. Explore those iconic Tegalalang rice terraces and later make a trip to the Gunung Kawi, a shrine of the 11th-century royals. Visit the Hindu temple perched atop cliffs, Pura Luhur Ulu Watu for more cultural exploration.
A cultural experience in Luang Prabang in Laos
Luang Prabang an ancient capital is a Unesco World Heritage Site because of its unique mix of European colonial architecture and the traditional Lao buildings. One comes across one of the most significant Buddhist temples, Wat Xieng Thong that was built in the 16th century. Hike the trail to the Kuang Si waterfalls, made of beautiful turquoise pools.
Diverse attractions in Penang in Malaysia
Penang attracts tourists because of its diverse attractions such as the quiet fishing villages, the white sandy beaches, and the large resorts. Most tourists enjoy exploring temples, mosques, and colonial buildings in the city. Enjoy a huge variety of local street food like rice cakes, egg, and pickled vegetables at incredibly lower prices. Visit the Penang National Park and explore the most delightful and quietest beaches on the island.
When you want to travel more but don’t have the money, you must find ways to save money the way that a professional saves money. Here are some tips for reducing your monthly expenditures so that you have more money to save for traveling to your favorite destinations.
If you spend money without thinking about it, then you need to have a written budget. Prepare a list of how much money you earn each week or month before determining how much you spend on necessities such as a mortgage, utilities, insurance and food. Any money that is left after paying your required bills is extra money to spend on traveling.
Tip 2: Give Up the Extras
Determine if you need extra non-essential items such as the deluxe digital television package or designer clothing. By adjusting your thinking, you can live without these things so that you can have money for airplane tickets and hotels. Instead of watching digital television, you can watch DVDs that you borrow from your local public library, and you can shop for clothing in charity stores to save money.
Tip 3: Prepare Your Own Meals
When you visit a restaurant several times a week, it is expensive. Learn how to cook your own meals at home instead by buying what is on sale at the supermarket that week. You can prepare numerous inexpensive meals from a baked whole chicken along with fresh vegetables and fruits.
Tip 7: Reduce the Interest Rate On Student Loans
If your student loans have high-interest rates, then you may want to refinance the loan to lower your monthly payment. Determine how much you are saving each month so that you can keep the money in a savings account to pay for your travels.
Tip 4: Find Roommates For Your Home
You can reduce your living expenses by finding roommates to share your home. Determine what the cost of most rentals in your area are to help you choose the price of renting a bedroom and bathroom in your home. To avoid a financial fine, make sure to follow the regulations in your region for having roommates.
Tip 5: Have an Additional Job
If you want to save money faster, then you can work at an additional job. You can find another permanent job during the weekend or evenings, but you might prefer working temporary jobs such as doing lawn work in the summer or shoveling snow in the winter. When you have a specialized skill such as sewing, you can make and sell items online.
Tip 6: Have a Savings Account At Your Bank
Rather than saving money in a checking account, have a savings account that has a higher interest rate. When you are paid each week, have your paycheck sent online to your bank, and have a certain amount of money diverted to your checking account to pay your bills, but you should make sure that some of your earnings go directly into savings.
The Laugavegur, directly translating to “The Hot Spring Route” is Iceland’s most famous trail, and one of the most famous hiking trails around the world. Volcanic deserts snake their way through valleys and hot springs are nestled beneath colorful mountains and magical glaciers. It’s a place with thrilling landscapes that reflect the mythical nature of Iceland – and for those looking for an adventure, there is no better place to find it than in Iceland!
From the rhyolite mountains to the ravines and ridges, the Laugavegur hiking trail is an experience unlike any other. The relaxing hot springs and the glacial valleys will show you why the Laugavagur trail is worth it. In this article I will talk about what this trekking holiday includes, if it’s right for you, what to expect and how to plan.
The difficulty of the trek: The trek is considered a challenging one and is not for people with very little fitness endurance. The trail requires needs endurance and if you don’t think you have it, then it’s very advisable to train well before.
How long the trek will last: The trek usually lasts anytime from three to four days and the more relaxed and flexible you are with your timing, the more you can stay. You can always try and explore extra places nearby or spend a few more days at one of the camps. But give yourself a minimum of 3 or 4 days in the beginning.
When is the best time to go: It’s advisable to visit anytime between mid-June to mid-September but it’s always better to visit in July and August for milder weather conditions.
The temperature: The temperature will be the most unpredictable factor of your trip and you will have to plan accordingly. The weather fluctuates rapidly and one day can be very cold and windy while a few hours later it can be sunny.
Where to start and end: You can either start in Thorsmork or you can start at Landmannalaugar.
To reach any of the starting points: You can take a direct bus from almost anywhere to reach the starting points and it’s advisable to start at Reyjavik.
Luggage Storage: If you can, try and utilize the luggage storage at the airport.
Here is one of the main itineraries you can use to travel to Iceland, but if you don’t feel like doing it on your own, you can find a lot of guided tour options that you can also do with your family and kids when you click here.
The advantage of doing it on your own is the entire freedom that comes with it all, while being on a guided tour will give more structure and remove a lot of hassle from the planning.
The beginning route:
The route starts far away from Reykjavik – about 175 kms away from the capital. To start the trail, you will need to drive in a 4×4 car and make sure that the tires are higher than average. This is due to the fact that the road is made of rough gravel and sometimes you’ll have to cross a few rivers.
Start by camping at: Landmannalaugar
This famous valley boasts the best attractions for all geothermal lovers. From hot springs that are perched beneath mountains to much more, this will be a great start to your trip. The thermal baths will act as great entertainment for your first day. It will be a much needed relaxing start for an otherwise challenging trek.
Move from Landmannalaugar to Hrafntinnusker.
This is considered the first stage of your trek, and from one lava field to another – it’s completely normal to find yourself on top of a volcano. Volcanoes are lined with a plethora of different colorful slopes – from ash to red to black. The place is teeming with things to see – imagine volcanoes, lava fields, hot springs, and puddles. Top all of this with the occasional white snow on top of the fields and you’ve got yourself a straight-out-of-a-movie scene.
Start moving up, check out the volcanic fields and the black desert that’s covered with snow (sounds otherworldly right?), check out the memorial for the traveler who died a few years ago and stop at the first hut – Höskuldsskáli.
Tips: You have to note that you are not allowed to take any rocks with you from Iceland. Another note is that there are no showers, no electricity (only solar panels which are used for the important things only), and there is no service/reception here. Lastly, if you will be staying at a hut, please note that you may have to book very far in advance.
Moving from Hrafntinnusker to Álftavatn/Hvanngil.
This second part will be a lot less harder. The hike downhill will take about 4 hours, and you will find yourself moving up and down. Sometimes through gorgeous panoramic vistas, sometimes through green valleys, sometimes down mountain slopes and sometimes through glacial rivers that you have to walk through.
From Álftavatn lake – Emstrur
You will still be crossing water (that gets very cold in general), and you’ll also be walking through volcanoes, and glaciers and oasis’s.
Emstrur – Thórsmörk.
Follow the river and check out the mountain famously named as the Unicorn, and after that you’ll cross the last river. There, you’re going to finally come across the most vegetation you’ve seen in the past 4 days. Other than the forest you’ll be walking through, you’ll be met with campsites that have saunas, restaurants and much more. It’s perfect to end your trip with.
A few notes:
Please remember that you are not allowed to camp in the wild and you’re not allowed to start a fire. You are also not allowed to leave any waste behind, or step on moss.
Before giving you a list of things to get with you in Iceland, it’s very important to know that you need to plan every single thing with you. Every piece of wardrobe should be planned and the climate is not to be ignored. It’s very unpredictable and you need to be prepared for every single condition. The hike is demanding, the weather is unpredictable and the level of difficulty is quite challenging. You’ll be isolated in harsh weather so you must pack well. This is not to deter you, instead, this is so you can come prepared for all conditions. Your packing list will be the most important thing to plan in your holiday.
Here is a list of things you will need:
Waterproof hiking boots. This is very important. You need to get waterproof hiking boots that have been broken in before because the walks are long and challenging.
Thin sock liners. These are also important to avoid any blisters along the way.
Waterproof Jacket – Get waterproof jackets and trousers and make sure you have thermal layers with you.