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By Charli Moore

I’ve just returned from an 11-day Baltic Sea cruise and I’m thrilled to say that despite the insatiable amount of baked goods on offer 24/7, I didn’t put on any weight whilst sailing the high seas.

Cruising is synonymous with culinary delights, and as I learnt during my time aboard Princess Cruises’ vessel Regal Princess, it can be incredibly difficult to limit your consumption of the delicious treats that are whipped up in the galley kitchens each day.

Read my review of the Princess Cruise Baltic Sea itinerary here.

However, by exercising a little self-restraint, and focusing your energy on maximising the opportunity to make use of the ship’s amenities you can stay fit and healthy on a Princess Cruise.

Here are my top tips to staying in shape whilst on the high seas:

ESTABLISH A HEALTHY ROUTINE FROM DAY ONE

I don’t know about you but I find it incredibly difficult to refuse something once I get a taste for it, especially if it comes in the form of dessert! Therefore, in order to maintain a healthy routine on board Regal Princess I set out a few ground rules before I even stepped out of my front door.

You may be thinking this sounds a little regimented, but in all honesty following a healthy lifestyle requires that you follow a set of guidelines; these were mine:

When on board:

  • 40 minute gym session or 3 mile run (top deck running track) on waking up each morning
  • Sign up for yoga/pilates class on sea days
  • Avoid the lift and always take the stairs

When dining:

  • No alcohol before 5pm or after 10pm
  • Dessert every other night
  • Breads and pastries should be eaten with breakfast only
  • At least one glass of water with every meal
PREPARE YOURSELF FOR LIFE AT SEA

Regardless of whether you get seasick, pack some motion sickness tablets along with a basic medical kit of painkillers, bug spray, plasters, and antiseptic ointment. Just in case.

If you can, try and acclimate yourself to the local time zone of the region in which you’re cruising, this will help your body clock to adapt to the itinerary of the first day aboard.

Read this guide: 7 Simple Steps to Planning your Next Adventure

GET ENOUGH SLEEP

Sleep is an integral part of achieving optimum health, and while everyone finds that they need different amounts of sleep to function, making sure that you catch enough zzzzzzzs whilst cruising will benefit you in more ways than one.

If you’re well rested you’ll find you have a more enjoyable time exploring each new destination in which the ship makes port. You’ll also find you maximise your time sightseeing on land, are more inclined to stay active during the day, and sleep better each night as a result.

There’s so much to take in on a cruise so consider planning your itinerary each day to allow you to return to your stateroom at around 10pm. This will give you time to unwind, digest your evening meal, and prepare yourself for the day ahead.

STAY HYDRATED

The entire ship is temperature controlled which means that you’ll dehydrate at a much quicker rate than usual (air con causes a low water content in the atmosphere, leading to increased water loss from the lungs and through the skin). As such it’s important to counteract this affect and drink more water than usual.

In parallel, staying hydrated is actually a great way to boost general health. Drinking enough water maintains the body’s fluid balance which helps transport nutrients through your system, regulate your temperature, and aids digestion.

I found that there were always bottles of water available in my room (for a fee), and I tried to make sure I drank one in the morning and one before bed to ensure I was always topped up.

DITCH THE ELEVATORS AND TAKE THE STAIRS

This one is pretty self-explanatory. Choose to hike the stairs between decks and get some extra steps in without noticing. Light aerobic activity such as this is great for your circulation, cardiovascular fitness, and digestion!

I have to admit, when you’re walking up more than three or four flights it can take it out of you! Therefore, be mindful of your personal fitness levels and don’t try and take on all 19 floors at once when you first arrive!

TAKE YOUR YOGA MAT AND STRETCH OUT AT THE END OF THE DAY

Yoga offers a whole host of health benefits and although you might not have the opportunity to take a class every day whilst on board a Princess Cruise, there are a number of ways you can integrate yogi habits into your on board wellbeing routine.

Take 10 minutes before you turn out the light and allow your muscles to stretch out. This can help improve your circulation and in turn give you maximum benefit from a restorative period of sleep. You don’t need to be a full-time yogi to let yoga boost your general health.

Follow @catmeffan if you’re looking for some yog-spiration 🙂 she posts daily and has some great yoga flow videos on her YouTube channel.

CHOOSE ACTIVE EXCURSIONS IN PORT

Another simple way to up your step count without too much effort is to ensure that you book active shore excursions.

When Regal princess docked in Copenhagen I opted to take a cycling tour of the city (I picked the bike up from right next to the ship) and cycled for almost five hours! Something I’d never think to do in the gym!!

I also found that most sightseeing tours incorporated a lot of walking and especially enjoyed taking the opportunity to make the most of the time to explore the back streets and alleyways of the places we visited.

MAKE THE MOST OF THE JUICE BAR

Quite possibly my most favourite of all the offerings aboard Regal Princess; their early morning smoothie and juice menu is divine.

After a session in the gym or a run on the top deck I’d head to the Outrigger Bar on the Horizon Terrace at the back of the ship and indulge in some veggie goodness instead of heading to the all you can eat buffet.

Incorporating fresh fruit and veggies into your daily routine provides the body with much needed nutrients in an easily digestible form. Research which of the bar’s menu combinations will best boost your health and resolve to have one before considering another breakfast option.

For example, beetroot is good for high blood pressure and turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory and can aid in the absorption of antioxidants, whereas I don’t think there are any known benefits of pancakes with syrup!

WATCH OUT FOR HIDDEN CALORIES

True or false: Vacation calories don’t count. 😉

A post shared by Princess Cruises (@princesscruises) on Mar 12, 2018 at 6:59am PDT

When I say ‘hidden calories’ what I mean is high calories foods that fly under the radar and are often overlooked by those watching their waistline.

For me, the biggest killer here is alcohol. We all know that desserts are bad for us, and those pastries are probably going to contain loads of calories, but did you know there can be up to 650 in your average pina colada? Not only that but consuming a large amount of sugar (90% of cocktails contain sugar syrup) can contribute to a hangover.

For the same buzz without the guilt stick to low calories drinks like vodka with soda and fresh lime, champagne, or bloody Marys.

Hidden calories can also be found in creamy, cheesy or sweet sauces served up in the dining room so consider the menu options and don’t be afraid to ask your server exactly what each dish is made of.

EAT A LA CARTE

In much the same way that cocktails harbour hidden calories, buffet dining should be approached with caution.

With so many dishes to choose from and an endless supply of clean plates to fill, it can be tempting to try ‘just a little of a lot of different things’ when perusing the aisles.

My advice, unless you’re able to exercise a lot of self-control (which is really hard because the food is so delicious) just eat in the a la carte restaurants where the portion control is managed for you.

For a review of all the delicious dining options aboard Regal Princess check out this guide from fellow blogger Emily Luxton.

DISCONNECT FROM REALITY

Although Regal Princess offers the latest in satellite WiFi, known as Medallion Net, taking the time to disconnect from the news, your social media, and work emails can do your mind the world of good.

Sadly, I didn’t have the opportunity to disconnect for long myself because I was collecting content to share with you guys, however a cruise would be the ideal time to practise a little mindful meditation and reflect on life back home.

It’s not often we find ourselves with free time, there’s always something that demands our attention, so make the most of the free time you have on the ship.

INDULGE IN A LITTLE R&R

With that in mind, when you’re looking for distractions to keep you away from the buffet and margarita bar consider heading to the Lotus Spa.

Offering a menu of treatments to satisfy almost every ailment, and an enclave retreat that contains a hydro pool, sauna, cooling water beds, and hammam (Turkish bath), reward your healthy meal choices with some truly luxurious pampering and you really will go home feeling brand new.

Check out this guide: 9 of the Best Ways to Relax When Travelling

DON’T FORGET TO SANITIZE

Cheers to the weekend guys! Wishing I was back in The Sanctuary aboard Regal Princess! I’ve just got home from my Baltic Cruise with @princesscruises and I’m sat editing the thousands of photos I took during my 8 day adventure – prepare yourself for the onslaught of wanderlust inducing pics to come over the next few weeks. I’ve got so many I want to share with you all! I’ve confessed to you in the last few days that I’ve become a #cruiseconvert since boarding the ship in Germany last week. The convenience of travelling from one country to the next by boat, avoiding airport check in queues and the perpetual circus of packing and unpacking in new destinations, has allowed me to spend more time getting to know the places I’ve visited and meant that I’ve crammed a month’s worth of travel into just over one week! Great news for anyone with limited time to travel. If you’re contemplating booking onto a cruise and you want to chat, just drop me a DM or check back later on when I’ll be sharing my first blog all about my time sailing the Baltic Sea! 📸 By @danflyingsolo #DiscoverWithPrincess #ComeBackNew #PressTrip

A post shared by Charli • Wanderlusters ✈️ (@wanderlustersuk) on May 12, 2018 at 4:07am PDT

While cruising isn’t too dissimilar to staying in an all-inclusive resort, being in close confines with up to 5,000 other people means that there are additional health consideration you’re probably not used to factoring into your trip planning.

In all public bathrooms aboard Regal Princess I saw signs stipulating that extra attention should be given to personal hygiene, and reviews I read advised to carry alcohol wipes and wipe anything that other people have touched like serving tongs, salt and pepper shakers.

I’d suggest that the latter is perhaps a good idea if you’re someone who is susceptible to infections, but for most a diligent approach to hand washing sould suffice.

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If you’ve made it to the end of this post you should be pretty well equipped to bypass the weight gain and lethargy that can easily appear during resort-style getaways. Just remember, everything in moderation. There’s no need to practise total deprivation, just be considered in your choices of both meal and activity!

Have you any top tips to help travellers stay fit and healthy on a cruise? Comment below!

This post was originally published on https://wanderlusters.com

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By Charli Moore

The thought of planning an adventurous escape can be a little overwhelming.

Whether you’re dreaming of taking some time out to explore one destination in depth, as I did during my time in Crystal River Florida, or hoping to fit as many inspiring locations into one whirlwind tour, like my recent Baltic Sea adventure a certain amount of pre travel prep is required.

Having lived as a digital nomad for the last six years, I’ve a fair amount of experience when it comes to preparing for a trip abroad. When navigating from one country to the next I often fly by the seat of my pants and book everything last minute, other times I spend weeks (even months) sourcing the best deals on flights and accommodation.

However, regardless of the lead-in time I now utilise a few tried and tested methods to make sure I’m ready for the journey ahead.

Looking for some simple steps to help you plan an epic adventure? Here are some easy ways to take the stress out of world travel.

FIGURE OUT WHERE IN THE WORLD YOU WANT TO GO

Defining where in the world you want to travel to is the first major hurdle you’ll face, and believe me when I tell you it’s a real struggle to decide. When the world literally becomes your oyster, no end of inspiring destinations will send you into wanderlusting daze of utter confusion.

But focus, no really…focus.

Start with a realistic projection of your budget, and then narrow down your bucket list to locations that align well with your available finance. If after that you’re still struggling to choose, flight comparison websites can help you to refine your focus!

CHOOSE THE RIGHT TRAVEL INSURANCE FOR YOUR SITUATION

Choosing travel insurance is often something travellers leave to the last minute, and in some cases completely overlooked. However, making sure that you have the right level of coverage, meaning that you’re covered for activities you want to do and the destinations you plan to visit as we as any pre-existing medical conditions, is vital.

Did you know that average cost of a medical evacuation within Europe is around £25,000? If you travel without insurance you could find yourself in some serious debt.

Here are a few top tips to help you find the best policy for your next trip;

  1. Decide whether you need a single trip or annual policy
  2. Get medical cover. Consumer watchdog Which? reckons you should be looking for “European insurance that provides at least £2 million worth of medical cover, or worldwide travel insurance that offers at least £5 million worth of protection.”
  3. Check what the deal is with electronics, not all policies cover electrical items worth over £500
  4. Review the Excess options, and find out under what circumstances you are not covered if you have to cancel your trip.
DEFINE AN ACHIEVABLE DAILY BUDGET FOR YOUR ADVENTURE

On a serious budget? Keen to RTW for less? Consider places where the cost of living is low. Agness and her blogging buddy Ces have some great guides to travelling for $25 a day.

Looking for ways to save? Norbet from Globotreks has 20 Tips to Save $1000 a Month for Your RTW Trip.

Been saving for the last 12 months? Want to see more costly bucket list destinations like Barbados, New Zealand, Stockholm, or Las Vegas? Consider a cruise or choose one location to explore in depth.

COLLATE A FEED OF INSPIRING DESTINATIONS

Now that you’ve narrowed down your search to (hopefully) just a handful of destinations, I recommend you join Instagram and curate a feed that will deliver a daily dose of inspiration. Follow me @WanderlustersUK and search hashtags like #suitcasetravel #passionpassport and #wanderlust.

DOWNLOAD HELPFUL TRAVEL APPS

We all travel with at least one device.

Smart phones, tablets, laptops, there are few who choose to disconnect completely when they’re away from home. So make the most of the fact you can cram a million different tools into one small electronic device and get APP’d up before you leave.

Here are a few of my favourites:

Stay on budget with the help of Trail Wallet – designed by fellow travel bloggers Erin and Simon. Monitor your spending and break down your monthly expenditure with this seriously savvy app.

Get Skype and convince your loved ones to download it too. You’ve got to be pretty remote to be more than a few hundred meters from a reliable internet connection these days, so save yourself the cost of international phone calls and instead stay in touch for free.

Join Airbnb and keep their app close at hand. A great option for those travelling on the fly and keen to meet local people, this app will connect you with people renting out their spare room for a very affordable fee.

PLAN YOUR DEPARTURE WITH MILITARY PRECISION

The more on the ball you are when it comes to the logistics of travel, the easier life is when you’re out on the open road.

Here are a few things you can do in preparation of your departure:

If you’re planning a multi-stop trip – book transportation for all legs of your journey. Whether travelling by train, plane, or automobile, book ahead and make sure you know how you’re getting from one destination to the next.

Figure out your itinerary for at least the first few days of your trip. Booking accommodation and activities will take the stress out of arriving into an unfamiliar country, and will help you settle in to life on the open road.

Notify your bank of your plans to travel abroad and if you’ve time, apply for accounts that do not charge loading fees on foreign transactions. Travelers from the UK can apply for this account from the Halifax.

Scan all your important documents and store them in the cloud for easy access should you find yourself in a sticky spot.

Compile a packing list. Depending on your choice of destinations you many need to pack for all four seasons. If this is the case, get seriously savvy with your choice of clothing and footwear. Dragging a 23kg suitcase around the world is no fun, so pack as light as possible.

Check for any recent events (political, meteorological, cultural) that may impact your trip and make changes to your itinerary as required.

TAKE A CHILL PILL AND JUST EXPLORE

While travel prep is key for those looking to explore on a budget, or fit multiple destinations into one trip, the reality is that as soon as you hit the open road you’re travelling. Dedicate as much time as you can to preparing for your adventure but as soon as your departure day arrives, sit back and let the open road take you on a journey of discovery.

You just never know where you might end up!

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Are you currently utilising any simple steps to help you plan an epic adventure? Share them with us below!

This post was originally published on https://wanderlusters.com

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By Charli Moore

An Active Traveller's Review Of The Princess Cruises Baltic Sea Itinerary
Accommodation
Dining
Entertainment
Itinerary
2018-05-15
4.7Overall Score

I’ll be honest with you, until I accepted an invitation from Princess Cruises to experience their Baltic Sea itinerary I’d never considered booking a cruise.

It wasn’t because I’d heard bad things about cruising, or that the idea of visiting multiple countries in one trip didn’t appeal to me, I think I just assumed that I wouldn’t enjoy staying in close quarters with so many other people all taking the same trip as me. Full disclosure, as I write this I’m travelling as a guest of Princess Cruises aboard one of their newest ships the Regal Princess.

I’ve just spent the day at sea and tomorrow morning I’ll wake up in Copenhagen Denmark where I depart the ship and head home.

If you’d like to take a look at the full itinerary on the Princess Cruises website please click here.

A FIRST TIME CRUISER’S REVIEW OF THE PRINCESS CRUISES EXPERIENCE

I’m an active traveller who loves researching new destinations and putting together an itinerary that fits my style of travel, so to tell you the truth I was quite intrigued to find out what the cruise travel experience was like. Having spent five days aboard Regal Princess cruising the Baltic Sea I’m thrilled to say that I’ve taken to cruising like a duck to water. Pardon the pun.

On arriving at the German port of Warnemunde where I was meeting the ship, I was quite intimidated by the sheer scale of the vessel.

If you’ve never seen a cruise ship up close imagine the biggest multi-story car-park you’ve ever seen and triple it. To put it into perspective using some fun stats the ship’s captain Tim Stringer shared with me, the ship is 141,000 tonnes when fully loaded, uses around 700,000 US dollars in fuel to sail the 11 day route around the Baltics, and rises 60 metres above the waterline.

To put it bluntly, it’s bloody enormous.

That being said, this means that the ship has pretty much the same amenities as a land-based resort. I’ll go into more detail about what’s on offer later in the post, but for now I’ll simply say that I’ve been extremely happy with the level of comfort and service on board.

PRINCESS CRUISES’ BALTIC ITINERARY IS IDEAL FOR EVERY TYPE OF TRAVELLER

Baltic Cruise Day 2 🚢🚢 The ship docked in Tallinn, Estonia just as I woke this morning (around 7am) which meant that it took us almost 36 hours to sail over from Germany! 36 hours well spent in my opinion because Tallinn is just so pretty; everywhere you turn you’ll find picturesque medieval streets and pastel painted buildings. — As I type this I’m sitting at the desk in my stateroom preparing for day 3 of my Baltic adventure; tomorrow we make port in Russia and I’m looking forward to checking another country off my list. However, I’m sad to report that I won’t have any internet on shore tomorrow so you’ll have to make do with my instagram stories from Tallinn to feed your need for a fix of wanderlust!!! Don’t worry, regularly scheduled programming will return on Monday when I reach Finland and my European roaming kicks in again 🤣🤣 #staystrong – – – – #DiscoverWithPrincess #ComeBackNew #Estonia #Tallinn #GirlsWhoTravelSolo #traveladdict #globetrotter #seetheworld #roamtheplanet #adventureisoutthere

A post shared by Charli • Wanderlusters ✈️ (@wanderlustersuk) on May 5, 2018 at 12:30am PDT

The first thing that piqued my interest in Princess Cruises’ invitation was their Scandinavian and Russian itinerary.

An 11-day cruise, the ship travels around the Baltic Sea calling in at Copenhagen, Oslo, Warnemunde (Germany), Tallinn, St Petersburg, Helsinki, and Stockholm, and guests can check in and out at either St Petersburg, Copenhagen, or Warnemunde; which is where I joined the ship last Wednesday.

In some cases, special requests can be made to join the ship at any of the other ports. Contact your booking agent or Princess Cruises directly for more information.

Of the full 11 day trip only two days are spent at sea, one at the beginning and another toward the end of the route. The ship docks in St Petersburg for two days, and spends one day in each of the other ports on the itinerary. This brings me to one of the main reasons I decided to join Princess Cruises here in the Baltic; as a cruise passenger you can visit Russia without a visa.

GUESTS CAN VISIT RUSSIA WITHOUT A VISA

Anyone who has ever tried to get a Russian visa will tell you that it is a reasonably complex process, not a simple ‘just check the box’ kind of task. It can be costly (around £200 for British travellers), and you have to attend a Russian Visa Application Centre in either London, Manchester, or Edinburgh to submit your application.

Full entry requirements for UK citizens can be found here.

Cruise or ferry passengers can stay in Russia for 72 hours without a visa if they have booked tours through officially licensed companies. Guests are free to use any authorised travel agency (not just cruise ship tour companies), however the visa-free exception applies only to those who join an organised tour.

You can confirm that the operator is licensed by asking them to send you a tour ticket, which is called a blanket visa or booking confirmation, and will let you pass the customs/immigration offices without any other documents except a valid passport and key card for the ship.

Note that if anything happens to your passport during your stay you must get an exit visa to leave Russia so be militant about keeping an eye on your documents during your stay

MY 48 HOUR CRUISE STOP IN ST PETERSBURG

I opted for a two-day tour of St Petersburg and booked through Princess Cruises for two reasons:

Number one, they were offering second row seats to watch the ballet Swan Lake at the oldest theatre in St Petersburg as part of the package!

Number two, the ship always waits for its own tours to return, whereas if you have an issue with a third party tour and don’t make the port in time for departure the captain will not wait for you.

PRINCESS CRUISES’ BALTIC SEA ITINERARY IS ON POINT

If you sat me down and asked me to make a list of cities in northern Europe that were on my bucket list, every single one of those on Princess Cruises’ itinerary would have made the grade.

Showcasing the very best of Scandi culture and Baltic charm, the route encompasses iconic sites like the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, Tallinn’s picturesque medieval streets, and Copenhagen’s colourful Nyhavn neighbourhood.

If you follow me on Instagram you can watch highlights from my stories in my gallery; check out the wanderlust inducing pics in my feed by clicking here.

Over the course of the next seven days I’ll be adding more city guides to this section of the post so book mark it and pop back soon 😊

THE EXPERIENCE IN PORT FULFILLED MY DESIRE FOR ADVENTURE

I was a little bit nervous about whether or not I would enjoy cruise travel. I often see cruise ship tours as I explore the world and more often than not the participants look like cattle being herded around by a rather stressed guide talking in multiple languages. I think in some cases this is true of cruising, but it’s far from the experience I’ve had with Princess Cruises.

Other than in Russia, where guided tours are mandatory for everyone departing the ship, their Baltic itinerary allows for self-directed travel at each port. So that’s exactly what I’ve done. For me, a tour-bus style scenario isn’t enjoyable, but in every port I’ve been able to get off the ship and either walk to or hop on some public transport to get to the points of interest I’m keen to see.

If you do choose to manage your own itinerary at each port just be aware that YOU MUST BE BACK AT THE SHIP IN TIME TO DEPART. They will not wait for you if you are late and you will be responsible for making your own way to the next port of call to carry on the cruise!

THE REGAL PRINCESS ‘ON BOARD EXPERIENCE’ IS IMMENSE

I feel this section should be a whole new blog post on its own, there’s just so much to say.

I’ll start with my cabin (known as a stateroom), which I thought would be the most important place for me on the ship however it’s actually the place in which I spent the least amount of time!

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REVIEW OF BALCONY STATEROOM ABOARD REGAL PRINCESS My First Look at Regal Princess Princess-Cruises-State-Room-Review-1 Princess-Cruises-State-Room-Review-3 Princess-Cruises-State-Room-Review-4

I’m staying in a balcony suite which can be arranged as a queen or twin room. I’m on the 12th deck, called Aloha (there are 19 in total), and I’m pretty close to the back of the ship.

The room is well equipped with a desk and chair, mini-fridge (which you can opt to have set up as a mini-bar), shower room, and hanging clothes storage. The bed is extremely comfortable and the pillows are firm but soft enough to pummel into which ever shape is comfy. The balcony is a luxury but to be..

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By Charli Moore

Having spent two and half years driving across Australia and New Zealand I’ve come to appreciate just how intimate the experience of overland travel can be.

With the freedom to explore far from the tourist trail and head off the beaten path to more rural locations, a self-drive itinerary is something I always strive for when planning my travels. However, along with the freedom of a self-drive itinerary comes the responsibility of navigation, long hours behind the wheel and sourcing accommodation en route. So I thought I’d consider giving rail travel a try.

Having spent a few hours glued to my laptop I’ve been overwhelmed by the number of inspiring rail routes that snake across countries and continents like veins. The diverse mix of landscapes and terrain they encompass is inspiring to say the least.

So, I thought I’d share a few of the greatest rail journeys with you…

CUZCO TO MACHU PICCHU, PERU

Image | ShareAlike

One of the world’s highest cities, Cuzco is the start of the Incan rail line that shuttles backpackers and hikers 50 miles through the Andes to the cliff-top ruins of Machu ­Picchu.

This route is not for the faint of heart; plummeting from dizzying heights into the lush floor of the Sacred Valley and alongside the Urubamba River this looks like an unforgettable rail excursion.

Check out this insanely detailed guide to booking Machu Picchu on the cheap, from travel bloggers the Thrifty Nomads before confirming your travel plans.

THE BERNINA EXPRESS, SWITZERLAND & ITALY

Chugging along at just 20mph, the Bernina Express is one of the greatest rail journeys on earth, but one of the slowest trains in operation. However, it travels at such a glacial pace in order to safely navigate the 196 bridges, vast chasms and 55 mountain tunnels that make up the route as it wends its way over the Southern Alps, that it offers spectacular views that linger in frame much longer.

With staggering views overhead via the glass roofed panorama car that take in the surrounding landscape recently named a Unesco World Heritage Site, this sounds like a journey for the adventurous rail enthusiast. Not only that, but when you arrive in Italy you can take the time to visit some of the country’s most iconic sites. Book things like Vatican tours and accommodation in advance to ensure you’re not disappointed.

While in Italy there are a few shorter excursions you can take by rail. Here are two of the best:

ROME TO POMPEII

Hop abroad a high speed train from Rome and cruise out toward Naples where you can catch a coach-ride to Pompeii. Spend time walking around this UNESCO-listed site, and learn about the volcanic eruption that buried — and preserved — Pompeii for centuries. Before your return to Rome, enjoy an extra perk: a visit to a Roman ‘domus’ where, typically, the town’s more affluent residents lived. Check these Pompeii tours for itinerary inspiration.

ABRUZZO TO MOLISE

The second highest and most spectacular railway in Italy crosses 70 km of parks and nature reserves, in Abruzzo and Molise.

The railway line, which had been for long time abandoned, was recently reactivated. Each month, the train leaves from Sulmona, through the majestic mountains in the Majella National Park and through the Abruzzo plateaus, it reach the green and wild territory of Alto Molise, providing passengers guided tours and tastings of wines and typical food.

THE GHAN, AUSTRALIA

Image | DBZ2313

Despite having already traversed much of Australia, The Ghan stands out as one of the most iconic rail journeys in the world and one we shouldn’t rule out. Especially as my Aussie road trip didn’t allow the time for me to visit Uluru.

READ MORE AUSTRALIA TRAVEL GUIDES HERE

A long established service which runs the length of Australia, dissecting the red centre with relative ease; this is a three day trip which covers almost 2000 miles. Initially mapped by Aboriginal people, not in the traditional sense but through the words of a song, this mysterious landscape still holds a wealth of secrets.

THE TRANS-SIBERIAN RAILWAY

Image | Petr Jan Juračka

It can’t be disputed that the Trans-Siberian is the most iconic of all rail journeys. Traversing uncomprehendable distances this is a route I certainly wouldn’t like to drive on four wheels.

Covering a whopping 20% of the circumference of the earth it may come as a surprise that the route is actually the culmination of a number of sub sections. Encompassing parts of Russia, Mongolia and Beijing, this route is a marathon adventure and one that needs time to explore the many ports of call along the way.

I’m actually preparing for my first trip to Russia at the moment and am excited to see a small part of this train route myself.

SEATTLE TO LOS ANGELES, USA

Image | Loco Steve

Taking in one of the most scenic coastlines in the world, the double decker Coast Starlight links the cities of USA’s West Coast in one fluid line.

With the cascades, high Sierra, San Francisco and Big Sur all stopping points along the route, we think spending a few weeks station hopping here sounds like a great idea.

READ MORE USA TRAVEL GUIDES HERE

While in my head rail travel is a rather romantic notion, one reserved for those who want to see the world and travel in style, I’m slowly coming round to the idea that with the right itinerary to entertain you at each station, there’s an adventure waiting to be had.

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Have you ever incorporated rail travel into your itinerary? Share your comments with me below.

This post was originally published on https://wanderlusters.com

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By Charli Moore

There is nothing quite like a caravan or motorhome holiday. It is a wonderful mixture of being able to wander wherever strikes you as interesting while still being able to enjoy the necessities of modern life. All you need is your caravan, the open road, an idea of where you want to visit, and a map to ensure you get there.

That’s the romantic take on caravanning or travelling in a motorhome, and it’s generally very accurate— but it’s not the full story. When you choose these methods of holidaying, you’re likely to run into a few unfortunate problems that can put a dampener on your trip. Or at least, they can do if you neglect to read the following solutions…

PROBLEM: Lack of privacy

The downside of motorhomes and caravans is that they are, by sheer necessity, rather cramped. You can’t drive around in accommodation the size of a standard hotel suite, so compromises have to be made. Unfortunately, the lack of space and privacy can become rather trying, especially if you’re going to be on holiday for more than a few days.

SOLUTION: Awnings

Immediately expand your available space by taking an awning on your next trip. Outwell awnings and other similar products offer a fantastic solution to the space and privacy issue without increasing your load weight or requiring a second vehicle— a perfect solution for a tricky problem!

READ THESE ROAD TRIPPING GUIDES FROM WANDERLUSTERS

PROBLEM: Uneven ground

This issue is a particular problem for caravans. When you arrive at a campsite, you expect to be able to park your caravan and then relax in peace. However, this is impossible if the ground is uneven, which can leave you with your entire caravan leaning to one side— not a pleasant experience.

SOLUTION: Small blocks of wood

Carry a few small blocks of wood in the boot of your car to rectify this issue; think of it as a larger version as adjusting a wobbly table with a napkin. However, this fix is only suitable for minorly uneven ground— if the problem is particularly pronounced, you’ll want to move elsewhere.

PROBLEM: Mechanical issues

Mechanical issues for caravans and motorhomes are relatively common, especially if you have been on the road for a sustained period of time. From wobbly wheels to misfiring electronics, if your vehicle isn’t working as it should, your enjoyment of your holiday is going to be severely hampered.

SOLUTION: Preparation

The preparation required to prevent these problems is two-fold:

  1. Thoroughly check that your caravan or motorhome is in good working order prior to setting off; if necessary, have the vehicle serviced by a qualified technician.
  2. Not all mechanics are equipped to deal with mechanical problems of caravans and motorhomes, so spend a little time researching options along your planned route. Then, if you do have a mechanical malfunction en route, you immediately know where you need to go for a resolution.

In conclusion

Exploring the country (or further!) by caravan or motorhome can be incredibly rewarding, especially if you take account of the issues above— and implement the suggested fixes. With these problems solved, you’ll be free to enjoy all the delights of the open road.

This post was originally published on https://wanderlusters.com

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