Guided Hikes in New York City

In the winter, New York City residents and tourists alike will likely head to the great outdoors to engage in some winter activities. However, New York is also a great city to participate in outdoor activities in the summertime. Many of these activities involve going on a guided hiking adventure in New York City. These guided hikes take between one to three hours and are conducted by local experts. Participants receive instruction on proper trail and structure usage, weather changes, how to use a map, how to determine the condition of the trail and how to stay safe while on the trail.

Because of the compact nature of the city and the amount of open space that exists within the city limits, New York is one of the best cities in the world to go on guided hikes in. There are more than 4,000 miles of hiking trails that cross through the city. The trails range in difficulty from easy to difficult and are located in the Rockaways, Red Hook, Catskills, Green Mountain and Central Park. Many of the trails are only 1.4 miles long, but some are quite large and reach up over 50 feet in elevation. Within New York City, there are multiple trails within close proximity to one another. For example, at 12th St. and Central Park West in Manhattan, there are four trails – all with different trails lengths ranging from 5 to 15.7 miles. In Queens, there are trails at Jackson Ave. and Lakemont Dr. in Ozone Park, trails at Forest Hills Parkway and Route 11 in Floral Park and trails at Route 11 and 79 in Woodhaven. Also in Queens, there are trails at Forest Hills Parkway and 109th St. in Jackson Heights, and at 161-162nd St. in Queensbridge.

The guided hikes are available by reservation and can be made by visiting the websites listed above. No prior hiking experience is necessary, although it helps if participants bring a written overview of the trail, any changes in elevation and whether or not there will be any wildlife found on the trail. Some of the city’s most scenic trails are easily found with only a phone call. Others can be found only after taking a guided hike.

Travel Information For The City of Bucharest

Located in Eastern Europe it is a very popular destination in the summer vacation especially because of its warm climate. Bucharest is the capital city of Romania and is definitely one of the most popular places to visit in Romania.

The city is rich in history; there are many buildings and monuments that are historic, from Bucharest Fortress to Palace of Parliament to Romanian Museum and National Museum of History and Science.

There are many museums in Bucharest, starting with the Museum of Fine Arts and Museum of Natural History in the first time there was Bucharest Museum which has been closed for a few years now.

Bucharest citizens love sports and music and they can spend most of their free time relaxing in beach bars, beach squares or parks. Every evening there is a huge party at Sibiu City Street because of the music and the drinking that is happening there.

If you love to dance then the Bacchanalia dance festival is the place to be. It is one of the most famous festivals that take place annually. It is famous for the entertainment that is offered during the festival.

Bucharest is a city of museums and they range from the artistic to the historical. The Musei Romanum Bucharest is located in Sofiului Street has many permanent exhibitions. There is also an rotating exhibit which displays a historic artifact or piece of art from one museum to another.

The best way to reach Bucharest is by train. The train schedule is usually very consistent and you have to change station only once.

The train schedule from London is usually very consistent and the station changes are from Bucharest to Timisoara, Oradea, Cluj, Ria summit, Bucuresti, Bucovina, or Transilvania. The journey time is about 1hr 35min from London to Bucharest.

You can travel from London to Bucharest by private car or if you want to save some money then you can use a hire car service which can take you to Bucharest from London about 1hr 30min. The private car companies which can take you from London to Bucharest are: ‘Maurice’s’, ‘Eurostar’, ‘Transport 1’ and ‘Scania’. The difference between these companies is the price. ‘Maurice’s’ is cheaper than the other private car companies but you have to wait in the airport for the hire car, whereas Eurostar and Transporter 1 stop at the airport. ‘Scania’ is a bit expensive. The airport transfers can be made by hire car at ‘Eurostar’, ‘Scania’ and ‘Transporter 1’ rates.

Day Trips from Portland, Oregon

Portland has so much to offer in terms of outdoor recreational activities. Moreover, there are some popular attractions—natural and artificial—just around the city borders. We’ll be describing 3 top destinations and the time it would take to get to each of them. Read on.

  • Columbia River Gorge
  • Cannon Beach
  • Mount Hood

Columbia River Gorge

The Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area is east of Portland. It would take just 30 minutes to get there by car from Portland, so you can be sure of a journey without stress. That’s if you take it easy on how you move around, of course. Here, you’ll be able to view the very wide canyon of the Columbia River. It’s the ideal site for sightseers, hikers, water sports enthusiasts, and others. What about the zip line tour through the forest? 

The beauty of Columbia River Gorge does not stop there. There are more than 70 waterfalls—with the highest being close to 200 meters high! Its name: Multnomah Falls. It’s the most famous one. Look it up. There are a good number of wineries, restaurants, shops, and other features waiting for you. You won’t be disappointed. Keep in mind that Columbia River Gorge is Oregon’s top tourist attraction!

Cannon Beach

Cannon Beach has long-distance hiking trails and vast sandy beaches to make your day. A nice ocean view is just ahead of Ecola State Park which has an ancient vegetation for your sightseeing pleasure. To get a better view, you could move to the huge rock formation at Haystack Rock. If you’re lucky to be at the waterside during the cooler periods of the year, you’ll be able to see the migrant gray whales swimming past.

Do you know Lewis and Clark—the two famous adventurers who were able to put their name in the history books? Well, you can take the same path they took during their expedition. The route is known as Tillamook Head Trail. Keep in mind that it takes 90 minutes to get to Cannon Beach by road from Portland.

Mount Hood

Mount Hood graces such a high height that it can be seen from many locations in Portland. The only downside to getting there is that it can take 3 hours to arrive at the site from Portland depending on your chosen routes.

What’s cool about this mountain is that it’s covered in snow at any time of the year (See what we did there?). You don’t need to wait till winter in order to get there for some skiing passion fulfilment! The Timberline ski area is always open, unlike the five other ski areas which are closed at certain periods. 

Hiking trails at the Mount Hood Scenic Byway Area and Mount Hood National Forest await you. The latter has a golf course for lovers of the sport. It also has meadows, creeks, and other natural attractions.

Hopefully, the three places described here are inviting enough to you. Why don’t you plan with your loved ones for these fun-filled trips that promise to be an endless thrill?

Important Advice for the First-Time International Traveler

When thinking of traveling the world, you may get an overwhelming emotional rush. There may be feelings of excitement, anxiety, or even fear. Not to worry, this guide will put you through the best tips to have in mind as an international traveler. Read on.

Get Rid of the Fear

Do you know how to handle this easily? Get in touch with other international travelers and discuss with them, especially the experienced ones. You can stay in constant contact with them after. Discussing with fellow travel enthusiasts will bring that much needed calm to your nerves because they will help clear some uncertainties.

Don’t Rely Solely on Your Guidebook

Guidebooks are important to travelers, but you shouldn’t be totally dependent on them. Information changes—and so do cultures, rules, norms, and so on. You have to be verify what you read in the book by browsing online, making enquiries at government offices or lodgings, or asking the locals in the area.

Try not to be in a Hurry

It’s advisable to travel slow as a first-time traveler. Why? This is because every traveler needs time to make adequate plans so as to avoid mistakes. Resist the urge to visit as many countries and cities as possible within a short time. You need to take things easy with the mindset that you have all the time in the world.

Travel Light

You should know this. Traveling light is one of the best pieces of advice that a first-time traveler can get from an experience one. You may regret packing unnecessary junk in your bags at certain points in-between cities. You may end up not using many of the items you in your inventory.

Protect Yourself with Travel Insurance

Having insurance is good. Going on trips without it can be regrettable. Depending on your budget, get a travel insurance policy that works for you. It’s relevant to both the first-time traveler and experienced one. In a time such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, travel insurance can save you in emergency situations such as health matters.

Let a Phone Be Your Companion

You don’t need to be told about this: Having a phone with you is very important. Not having it is a risk that isn’t worth taking under any circumstance. It’s good for ensuring security and avoiding difficult situations. Access to internet connectivity and a means to reach others in faraway locations can save you a lot of time, money, and stress.

With a phone, you’ll be able to make reservations for lodging, dining, relaxation, and so on. It can be used to call for help, get directions, access free Wi-Fi, etc. You can simply have it as a source of fun stuff to do like playing mobile games, enjoy streaming services, and so on. Of course, you can have pictures of your loved ones on it. So many uses that you shouldn’t ignore!

If you’re nervous about your first trip, it’s OK. It’s normal. Just ensure that you follow the above tips and learn more. Research is essential, and having adequate information at your fingertips can help you avoid rookie mistakes. Good luck on your first journey!

Things to Do at Night in Barcelona

Night time can be a tourist’s favorite time of the day, especially in a city. This is because some cities never “sleep”, and that means there will be lively activities going on in various places. If you are a tourist in Barcelona, the origin-city of the famous Futbol Club Barcelona, then you should read this guide. Readers will discover some amazing ideas to help them while away time during the period between sunset and sunrise.

La Pedrera Night Experience at Casa Milà

Casa Milà is a white-painted museum with Gothic balconies and other architectural attractions. It is one of the houses (casas) of the famous architect Antoni Gaudi. The best area to be is the roof which holds some unique statues. You can have access to this part of the house by using the elevator. Climbing the stairs is an alternative. Look out for the animated light display that takes place on the roof at night.

La Sagrada Familia

If you are going to visit this basilica during the summer, then keep in mind that they would be closing by 8pm. This is another one of Gaudi’s casas. One visit may leave you with the desire to go again. The structure will be completed by 2026, so you should look forward to that.

Why is it a great place for your nighttime adventures in the present? You will have a lovely sightseeing experience by admiring the works of Gaudi such as the story of Jesus Christ depicted in concrete. Tourists will find these sculptures in the interior and exterior of the building.

Tourists are advised to make reservations because the basilica is usually busy throughout the year. Summer is the busiest period for La Sagrada Familia. Book a time slot ASAP to avoid getting disappointed.

Sunset Beach Fun

The city never sleeps, so does its beaches. You can have fun at either the Barcelona Beach, or the Sant Sebastià Beach. These are the most popular beaches because of their nearness to the tourist attraction, Port Vell. You can go to any one of them to relax after a long day of touring other destinations in the city. Splash away all that weariness.

Night Shopping

If you don’t mind going on a late-evening shopping spree, then the Portal del Angel will be the perfect place to splurge. It has more than 200 meters of shops that generally close late in the evening. Other notable shops are situated at the Gothic Quarter, Born District, and the Passeig de Gracia.

Hop-On/Off Open-Top Bus Tour

There are hop-on/off buses that conveys tourists around Barcelona in order for them to have access to various popular attractions. You can board any of these buses and alight at any place that catches your fancy.

Hopefully, the ideas presented in this guide were interesting enough to you. Tourists can try to spice things up by having the right combination of the aforementioned ideas. Barcelona’s nighttime delights are waiting to be experienced to the fullest, so start planning your trip!

Easy and Healthy Backpacker Meals

Confused about what meals to carry for your next backpacking trip? We have gathered some of the best backpacker meals that are cheap and easy. All of the meals listed here are super-fast to make and require a pretty less amount of ingredients. 

Let’s make it clear: there is no shame in relying on packaged meals for your trips! Not everyone has enough time to make their backpacking meals before going on a trip. So, here you are going to find Eight Cheap and easy but healthy backpacker meals. We hope this article provides you some amazing delicious trail food ideas!

CHILI MAC AND CHEESE

Ingredients needed:

  1. Dried beans (80g)
  2. Raw Macaroni Noodles (80g)
  3. Cheddar Cheese (80g)
  4. Chili Powder (10g)

They are also referred to as “chili mac”. Using dried beans for protein, macaroni noodles for carbohydrates and, the combination creates a hearty dinner. 

JERKY NOODLES

Ingredients needed:

  1. Noodles (80g)
  2. Jerky (50g)
  3. Peanut Butter (30g)

Easy-to-make noodles, Lightweight meat, and creamy peanut butter. It’s unusual, yet it’s likely to be one of the healthiest meals listed in this article. The rice noodles are cook fast and lightweight, and the jerky and peanut butter give an exact quantity of protein to this Asian-inspired backpacking meal.

MEDITERRANEAN COUSCOUS

Ingredients needed:

  1. Couscous (85g)
  2. Parmesan 35g
  3. Pesto (20g)
  4. Olives (20g)

Couscous is an excellent grain base to use on the trail because it’s light, cooks fast, and has some protein. Combine with perso mix and Parmesan for a filling meal. You can complement or replace the olives with sun-dried tomatoes or canned fish like salmon or Tuna.

CHICKEN AND RICE

Ingredients needed:

  1. Chicken (100g)
  2. Rice (80g)
  3. Dried Broccoli (35g)
  4. Olive Oil (20g)
  5. Soy Sauce (3g)

Dehydrated Broccoli is exceptionally lightweight and is an excellent source of vitamins, fiber, and potassium. Combine with chicken (or Tuna) and rice, and you have a perfect nutritious meal for the trail. Olive Oil combines some nice extra flavor and calories. Soy sauce is a pleasant extra that you can get at no cost from just about any grocery store.

LENTIL CURRY

Ingredients needed:

  1. Dried Lentils (80g)
  2. Dried Peas (20g)
  3. Dried Carrots (20g)
  4. Dried Corn (20g)
  5. Coconut Oil (18g)
  6. Curry Powder (8g)

You can get curry paste or powder from the international food section of the supermarket. Coconut oil contributes some healthy fats and improves the taste of this dish. With these two ingredients, you have the foundation to make a creamy curry. This trail favorite uses lentils as its source of protein and fiber.

EGGS AND BACON

The nearest meal you can get to a diner on the trail. Potatoes contribute carbohydrates, and eggs and bacon provide sodium and protein to give an energetic start to the day. It tastes better cooking the eggs separately.

TRAIL MIX BUTTER

Healthy and easy nutrition. Mixing peanut butter, honey, and trail mix collectively in a container produces a breakfast rich in calories from protein and healthy fats. 

CEREAL

Cereal in the backcountry. Powdered milk is virtually non-perishable and gives a light source of calcium. Chewy dried fruits like cranberries, apricots, and blueberries work best.

 

How Far In Advance To Book International Flights

The excitement of travel begins right from the time you book your ticket. You undoubtedly look forward with anticipation to the joys of exploring the world and meeting new people.

Perhaps like most people you agitate about the best time to book your ticket. Opinions vary on how far in advance international flights should be booked.

How Airlines Set Their Prices

Airlines open flights for reservation a year in advance, however, it’s best not to book your ticket that early. This is because fares fluctuate, hence you should aim to identify the best window that will yield the lowest fare.

Airlines are in business to market and sell their product. Their goal is to make a profit, therefore among the factors that determine ticket prices include the price of oil, the distance of the destination, and what the competition is offering. 

Governments collect taxes on air tickets, therefore this too can influence the fare. In addition, airlines set fares according to the category of traveler they wish to target. 

Leisure travelers are more likely to book in advance, and they are usually in search of budget fares. Business travelers on the other hand are less flexible with their dates and they are prepared to pay more.

How Pricing Works

Pricing is set on the basis of the principle of supply and demand. Weeks before a flight departs when the flight is still open, an airline will post reasonable fares. As it gets closer to the departure date and the demand increases, the fare will increase accordingly.

Since the airlines peg their fares to the availability of seats, this means that fares are never constant; they keep fluctuating. You may be surprised to obtain a cheap fare shortly before your departure if for some reason the airline was unable to sell seats on  that flight.

The Destination Has a Bearing

There are certain destinations that are popular and have a clearly defined ‘peak’ season. For example, everyone heads to Europe for the summer, starting from the end of May to August. Therefore, if you are intending to travel to Europe in summer, you need to book your flight by February at the latest. For travel in the Fall, you can make your reservations in March or April.

The Season, Time, And Day Of Travel Have A Bearing

Fares are highest when there is a demand for seats, hence advance ticket purchases are necessary for travel over long weekends, special holidays, sports tournaments, Christmas and New Year. Moreover, try to schedule your departure on a weekday; Monday and Wednesday are recommended, and Sunday too yields lower fares.

Similarly, you may opt to stay over at your destination on Saturday and commence your return journey on a weekday.

Early morning flights are unpopular, therefore you will find that fares are considerably lower if you take a 5am flight, for example. Late night flights too, tend to be affordable.

Try to make your reservations early in the morning. This is because airlines sometimes post promotional fares during the night. 

Experts say that from 4 months to 6 weeks prior to departure is the best time to reserve international flights. Therefore during this window, monitor deals that are posted on airline and travel websites, and you may succeed in zeroing in on an excellent deal.

4 Types of Souvenirs Worth Buying

Souvenirs are an invaluable part of your travel experience. The urge to take home mementos comes naturally to most of us as we want to hold onto memories of a special time and place. Here are ideas of souvenirs you can take home with you.

The Inexpensive Knick-Knacks

These are the readily available tourist souvenirs that are found at markets and road-side stalls. They make good giveaways and will be appreciated by friends and relatives. 

These include:

  • Fridge Magnets – For example, available in London are magnets of Big Ben, red double-decker buses, and Buckingham Palace. In Japan, popular magnets feature fake food images like sushi.
  • Dishcloths – In Madrid there are dish towels available with motifs of popular sites such are Puerta de Alcala.
  • Aprons – In Spain, you can obtain aprons with local recipes on them
  • In most countries, you will find key chains, t-shirts, and postcards that feature famous landmarks

Souvenirs That Are Decor Items

Many travelers source for souvenirs that will add interest to their decor and even choose their destination specifically with that goal in mind. Items that make great decorative pieces include:

Trunks

Trunks and chests that you pick up on your travels are a real showstopper. You can use them as a coffee table. In addition, you can paint or embellish them to fit in with the existing decor. Best of all, they are great for storage purposes.

Tribal Masks

African and Mexican masks have become collectibles and they make a bold statement when up on the wall. The colors, patterns and textures add an element to your decor that tells a story of its own.

Woven baskets and bowls

 A great idea is to group different sizes of woven bowls and hang them above a sofa to create a striking wall feature. Woven baskets can also be used as hanging plant holders and bathroom organizers.

Food Items as Souvenirs

Food is an essential part of the travel experience and specialty food makes great souvenirs and gifts for friends back home. Along with food, you may also choose to carry along some of the ingredients, such as spices, special herbs, and sauces.

The following destinations are well known for specialty foods:

Spain – A large percentage of the world’s olive oil comes from southern Spain, hence this is a good place to obtain your extra virgin olive oil.

 Singapore – Carry home some exotic Kaya Jam which is made from coconut milk, sugar, and eggs.

Italy – A perfect souvenir to take home with you is Italian cheese such as Pecorino Romano (Roman sheep milk cheese) and Parmigiano Reggiano.

Wine and Liquors as Souvenirs

Portugal – Obidos is home to a liquor known as Ginja, made of sour cherries and alcohol, a great memento to take home with you.

London – Freya Birch Spirit made from sap obtained from birch trees is a drink with a very unique taste, often compared to that of peach schnapps.

Paris – Chambord – This is a cognac based raspberry liquor that is flavored with blackberries and vanilla. 

Whatever your budget, it is possible to carry home a memento of your memorable experiences from somewhere special. By doing that, you will also give local artists and small business people your valuable support.

Here are 5 of the World’s Most Underrated Beaches

Reports indicate that up to 50% of international travelers head for coastal destinations. For many people what constitutes a perfect getaway is a beautiful, warm, sunny beach. A beach holiday is indeed special, and even more so if you discover little-visited locations. For example, here are 5 of the world’s most underrated beaches just waiting to be discovered.

Santiago, Cape Verde

Santiago is the largest island in the archipelago of Cape Verde, located in West Africa. The capital Praia is on this island. Santiago is known for its beautiful beaches, such as Quebra Canela with its lively scene and numerous beach bars, Prainha Beach, and Tarrafel Beach.

As an archipelago, Cape Verde offers a wide selection of white sandy beaches fringed with palm trees. One of the most popular beaches is Santa Maria beach, located in Sal. This beach has golden sands and azure waters, and it is good for kite-surfing and scuba diving.

Boa Vista is blessed with long sandy beaches and Sao Vicente too, has several beaches all suitable for swimming. The best time to visit Sao Vicente is in February during the carnival.

Furore, Italy

Location on the Amalfi Coast, Furore is a scenic beach hidden behind a fjord. This gem of a beach is small, however, it offers spectacular scenery. The Amalfi coast is safe for swimming and diving, and it is renowned for its clear and bright water. Aside from the beach, you can explore other natural rock formations and hidden caves in the area.

Pyla Sur Mer, France

A charming coastal resort on the Atlantic, Pyla Sur Mer is located south of Bordeaux. It is not only home to the highest dune in Europe, but its beaches, sports, and numerous events render it an ideal holiday destination.

Whilst you are here, schedule a relaxing day out at the majestic Dune of Pilat and enjoy the breathtaking landscape. You can also visit one of the large sandy beaches in Arcachon Bay. Arcachon’s main beach is popular for its cafes, bar, and various watersports. From here, you can also plan a day trip to Bordeaux, France’s famous wine region.

Windansea Beach, San Diego

Renowned for its clear, clean water, this is a small hidden beach which offers beautiful scenery and a pounding surf break. The beach is located in La Jolla, San Diego, and is more popular with surfers that family groups. Windanssea was named after a hotel that was located in the vicinity but later burned down.

The beach offers a classic surf break, and you are guaranteed good surf all year round. Waves range from 2-10ft, hence this is not a location for novices. However, if surfing is not your thing, you will enjoy sunbathing on the rocky plateaus, also a romantic place to watch the sunset.

Curacao

Some of the world’s most underrated beaches are found in Curacao. This is an island located in the Dutch Caribbean. Curacao boasts 35 beaches, each lovelier than the other. The weather is great, ideal for windsurfing and the waters are warm. This has been described as a diver’s dream. 

The nightlife is vibrant and possible activities include dancing at street parties, shopping, and the enjoyment of fine dining. The beaches popular with tourists include Mambo Beach and Jan Thiel beach

For lovers of sand and sea, there is no shortage of exquisite, hidden gems. All it takes is a little research, and you can soon be off to the beach holiday of your dreams.

 

5 of the Best Budget Destinations

Contrary to popular belief, it is indeed possible to enjoy the delights of an exotic vacation without spending an arm and a leg. Even better, you can do so without compromising on your comfort. There are several destinations that are renowned for offering value for money. Here are a few of them.

Fiji

Located in the South Pacific Ocean, these lovely islands do have expensive resorts, however, for the budget-conscious, there is also a profusion of reasonably priced, comfortable guesthouses, hostels, Airbnb options, 2 and 3-star hotels. There are countless activities to be enjoyed, such as surfing and whitewater rafting. Plan an excursion to the Colo-i-Suva forest reserve for hiking, swimming, and bird-watching. Enjoy the sight of waterfalls set in the jungle, a truly memorable sight.

Cambodia

A beautiful country rich in culture and history, Cambodia is a great budget destination due to its reasonably priced food and accommodation that offer value for money. Accommodation is available in local guesthouses, good standard low-cost hotels, and Airbnb properties. The food is cheap and very good. Places of interest to visit include the Khmer City of Angkor and the Angkor sites. Less known are the beautiful beaches and island resorts; these are also waiting to be explored.

India

This is a country that is larger than life. India is packed with adventure and culture. The possibility of exotic places to visit is endless, ranging from the beaches of Goa to Jaipur, the pink city. It is however possible to explore such treasures on a shoestring budget. Cheap accommodation is available in hostels and guesthouses, street food is readily available, and rail travel is kind on the wallet.

Poland

A warm vibrant country, Poland is an excellent choice for a budget holiday. It offers old historic cities, lovely coastlines and National parks. Possibilities of budget accommodation are numerous, ranging from low cost-dorm rooms, hostels, comfortable budget hotels, and self-catering facilities. In addition, there are numerous campgrounds and local food is reasonably priced.

Hungary

Also located in Eastern Europe, Hungary is another gem waiting to be discovered. Budapest, the capital of Hungary is a charming city, full of history. Accommodation is affordable here, with numerous high rated hostels to choose from. Also available are bed and breakfasts, and private apartments. Traditional Hungarian food is available at low prices.

Go on a walking tour of Budapest, a picturesque city built along the Danube River. The city has grand city squares and seamlessly combines the old and the new. Plan a visit to the Museum of Fine Art; take a cruise on the Danube for memorable views of the city landmarks.

If you check out available offers and schedule travel during off-peak months, it is possible to travel cheaply without sacrificing comfort and to obtain value for your money.