Around the world, the New Year is seen in with a range of interesting and unique celebrations. This means that the arrival of 2014 is a great time to take a trip. It might seem a little late to be planning a trip abroad for the New Year, but last minute deals can make this the most affordable time to think about booking. The four most interesting places to go for the arrival of 2014 are:
I've also used rain jackets. Indeed, I adore my awesome ExOfficio rain jacket. However, in general, I find an umbrella superior for most backpacking and hiking adventures. Here are 10 reasons why . . .
Vacations are expensive. After budgeting for hotels, airplane tickets, rental cars, restaurants and all the other major and minor costs of travel, there's typically very little money left over for a fancy new camera to document the trip.
Luckily, the cameras built in to today's smartphones are of such high quality that you may not need to buy a new point-and-shoot or even an SLR.
Lately, even journalists and newspapers are turning to images taken with cell phones to document their stories.
The key to great vacation photos is knowing how to make the most of your smartphone's camera.
Not only are there apps and accessories you can use to take your shots to the next level, but there are also some simple compositional techniques that will ensure that your pictures are eye-catching before you even take the shot.
Tip #1: Take Advantage of Cell Phone Apps
Popular applications like Instagram allow you to apply filters to your pictures and correct flaws like inadequate lighting. The filters allow you to choose a look for your picture so that you can accentuate the colors or give it an old-fashioned "postcard" sort of look, or even make it look like it was taken on film.
You can also use these apps to:
Add more light to make the details easier to see
Change the focus of the picture by adjusting the depth of field to highlight a person's face or emphasize a particular aspect of the landscape
Geo-tag your photographs with your GPS location so that your "followers" can know exactly where the photo was taken
Share your photos immediately with friends and family not only through the app itself, but also through other social media sites like Facebook and Twitter
If you're concerned about privacy issues relating to putting your pictures online, you can set your profile to private so that only people you know can see them.
Contrary to popular belief, not everybody goes to Las Vegas to party. There are other activities in the city to be done too like museum browsing and watching various shows. This place is also perfect for backpacking because of its close proximity to the desert mountains.
Even the Brits have shown much interest in Las Vegas because of its diversity. Getting to the city is easy because of dialaflight.com’s direct flights and affordable air fares. The flight duration between London and Las Vegas is approximately 11 hours. Before beginning your backpacking adventure in Nevada, here are a few things that you ought to bear in mind to make you look back on your experiences fondly:
When backpacking in Nevada
If you're planning on going backpacking through the desert outside of Las Vegas, bear in mind that you'll need plenty of water in your backpack, a hat to shade your face, plenty of sunblock, the common sense to stop and rest frequently and a sense of adventure. Backpacking in desert conditions isn't for everyone though, so don't force your friends into it. I mean sure, it's not like you're running the Marathon de Sables, a six day marathon which takes place in the Sahara desert and is the length of five marathons, but it's still a challenge for novices. Read up on your survival skills before leaving the city,and enjoy the stunning views of Nevada.
The main purpose of a vacation is to get away from all the troubles and hassles in your daily life. To truly get away from these, you have to travel as far as you can to places you wouldn’t have otherwise thought about visiting. Of course, with some of the most remote locations, half the effort is finding the place and getting there. Here are eight of the most remote places on Earth.
Siberia itself is well-known for desolation and cold temperatures. The tiny town of Oymyakon, which is home to about 472 souls, is the coldest inhabited spot in the world. On February 6, 1933, the temperature dropped to a deathly -96.2 °F. Aside from its extreme weather conditions, this area is known for being an air route during World War II and having unbalanced days and nights throughout the year (3 hours of daylight in December and 21 hours in June).
One of the challenges about seeing every country in the world is that we don't live long enough to cover all that ground. It sure would be easier if we lived to 120 year old. But would you want to?
Most Americans would rather not take medical treatments that would allow them to live to 120, according to poll data that Pew Research just released. Specifically, 56% said that they would not take such treatments, while only 38% said they would.
Meanwhile, the majority of Americans think that they're in the minority, because while they said that they personally wouldn't want such life extending treatments, 68% thought that "most people" would take them and only 27% would not. In other words, most Americans thought that most people would not behave like they do.
Nearly 7 in 10 Americans would like to live between 79 and 100 years old. Their median ideal life span is 90 years, which is about 11 years longer than today's average U.S. life expectancy (78.7 years).
Some may this finding counter-intuitive: nearly twice as many people would rather die before 79 years old than live to be over 100 (14% vs. 8%, respectively).
Although only of a quarter of Americans think that by 2050 the average person will live to 120 years old, they are optimistic about future medical advances. For example, 7 out of 10 believe that we'll cure most forms of cancer by 2050 and that artificial legs and arms will perform better than natural ones. Twice as many Americans think "medical advances" are "generally good" rather than "interfere with the natural cycle of life" (63% vs. 32%, respectively).
Still, let's suppose that three-quarters of Americans are wrong and that people really will be able to live to 120 years old with a bit of medical help. Now let's analyze the findings.
Planning an RV vacation this year? How about any travel at all? The ideal way to start your planning and to map out your itinerary is to download some of the best travel apps available. Having these apps will help to make your vacation smooth and simple. Although there are probably hundreds of great apps available for travelers, the below are just a few of the ones you may really benefit from.
[Tip from Francis: Gogobot has a great travel app and useful website.]
Camping apps are a necessity, particularly when traveling in an RV during the winter or early spring months. You will want to know what campgrounds are open and what sort of amenities these RV campgrounds offer. Then you can also find more events and activities that coincide with your interests by getting the Goby app. Obtain a list of the things that appeal to you most, such as hiking trails, theater shows or kid-friendly fun.
This time of year, the weather can take surprising turns. Plan your trip around the forecast with the free Weather Channel app. You can get weather reports which are updated on an hourly basis. Another great weather app is Dark Sky where you will get the immediate forecast in lovely radar visuals (and down to the minute). Don't get caught in a thunderstorm when you don't have to!
This article was written in collaboration with Lauren Quincy:
Every year, thousands of hikers come to Grand Canyon National Park to hike the scenic and historic trails of the area. Many of these trails are relatively short and can be done in a day or maybe two at the most. Others take a bit longer but are still rather standard. However, there are a few remote trails that aren't traveled that often due to the fact that the park no longer maintains them. They are known as routes and today we will take a look at some of the more challenging routes for hiking in the Grand Canyon.
The Tanner-Escanlante route starts out at the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona and stretches over 36 miles of various terrain. The park no longer maintains the trail, so only the most hardcore hikers take this route. Your hike will follow along the route were Pioneer Seth Tanner went along mining for copper along the Colorado River. Part of this hike includes an unavoidable 30-foot cliff near Hance Rapids that will have to be climbed. This demanding trail will probably take about 6 days to complete at a normal pace.
Royal Arch Route
The Royal Arch Route is a 45 mile hike starting at the South Bass Trail and then proceeds to Royal Arch and then to Elves Chasm and then back to South Bass via Tonto. The trail is considered to be an expert trails and recommended only for those with sufficient outdoor and wilderness skills. Make sure you take at least 50 ft of rope, 20 feet of webbing, and a reppel ring as there is a good amount of climbing, especially at Elves Chasm.
This old route from the South Bass trail to Apache Point is shorter than most at only 18 miles, but it is one that may require a little more flexibility and ingenuity for most hikers. The original trial for this route apparently has come in such disrepair and degraded over the years that many maps have become near useless. Your best bet when hiking this trail would be to review your map carefully, scan your topology and then pick your own best line of hiking.
Things to Remember
Route hiking at the Grand Canyon is only for the most experienced hikers. If you are a recreational hiker or have limited outdoor skills, do not hike these routes. Below are a few other things to remember when hiking these routes:
Never hike these routes by yourself. Beyond the fact that there is safety in numbers, additional members will be helpful when traversing large climbs, etc.
Bring plenty of water. If you think you have enough water, bring more. Some of these routes have limited water access and you need to keep hydrated for these hikes.
Don't rush the hike. It doesn't matter if you can hike 8 miles in a day normally. These are advanced trails and require more time and planning to traverse. Also make sure you have plenty of maps for the area so you have an idea of what to expect.
If you want more information on any of the routes listed above, there are plenty of resources online starting with the Grand Canyon National Park service. There are also numerous forums online with people's experiences that have hiked these routes and you can get a better idea on how to prepare for these hikes ahead of time.
One easy way to motivate people to go to business meeting is to hold it in an exotic location. Here's a short guest post by Catherine Lavinia....
Sometimes it may be a better option to take a business meeting outside of the office. This can be held at a conference room at an alternative location if meeting with a number of people, or at a coffee shop down the road if you're meeting with one other individual.
As always, there are a few things you should keep in mind when organising such a meeting and here are some of them:
The most important decision to make when looking for an alternative location is how suitable the room is.
Will it fit all those attending meeting comfortably?
Is it a convenient meeting place for the majority of those meeting to travel to?
If you're planning to spread the meeting over two days, will attendees need accommodation for the night? If so, it might be a good idea to have a look at group accommodation from Travelodge for better rates on bookings.
Some of their hotels even offer on-site meeting facilities so you can kill two birds with one stone.
For my thru-hikes, I favored a minimalist backpack. When I backpack in the wilderness, I prefer a pack that weighs less than 226 grams (half a pound). Such ultralight backpacks have small capacity and are uncomfortable when you carry more than 10 kg (22 pounds). That forces you not to take junk. For example, my CDT packweight was less than 3 kg (under 6 pounds).
However, in Africa, I won't be hiking nonstop. Instead, I'll mostly rely on vehicles to get around. Furthermore, I'll be able to buy food nearly everyday. Translation: Low daily mileage + Frequent access to food = I can load up on luxury items :)
My ideal backpack for Africa
The requirements for my backpack are:
Less than 1 kg (2.2 pounds) when empty
High storage capacity (I won't use the capacity most of the time, but I want the option to carry extra stuff)
It should hold comfortably carry 15kg (33 pounds).
Several pouches/compartments to help organize stuff
Few zippers (they often break over time)
Watch this video to see how the Gossamer Gear Mariposa Backpack does: